The purpose of the study was to identify what prospective professionals in the apparel industry believe the future holds for the industry in the next 10 to 20 years. Essays were collected from 30 apparel design and 48 retail merchandising majors. Participants predicted that technological developments would be the prominent force for changes across all levels of the future apparel industry. They forecasted the continued development of specialized fibers or fabrics for specific functions and apparel styles emphasizing function, practicality, comfort, and individuality. Total automation and a wide adoption of mass customization were predicted for production. Consumers were expected to use only the Internet or brick-and-mortar stores in conjunction with the Internet. Based on their predictions, the authors provide a glimpse into the possible future of the apparel industry and suggest directions for further research.
- Apparel industry