The term “fast fashion” is poised to take on a whole new meaning, thanks to a breakthrough in three-dimensional printing that could revolutionize the way clothing and shoes are made. Researchers at Loughborough University in London, in collaboration with Thailand’s Yeh Group and an unnamed “major fashion house,” are embarking on an 18-month project to create customized garments in under 24 hours. Advances in so-called “additive manufacturing,” the industrial form of 3D printing, have made it possible to produce 3D-printed garments from polymers in a single manufacturing operation, according to Guy Bingham, senior lecturer in product and industrial design at Loughborough University. Not only does this technology have the potential to reduce waste, water, labor, and carbon emissions, he says, but it can also make bespoke apparel an affordable reality.
The rise of cheap and disposable clothes, while profitable for their retailers, hasn’t been kind to the planet, not to mention the people who make them.
In the United States alone, consumers buy about 20 billion pieces of clothing a year—that’s roughly 68 items per person. We’re also throwing away a lot. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans chuck at least 12.7 million tons of textiles into the garbage annually.
While textile-recycling schemes divert some of that waste, Bingham says 3D printing can bring another solution to the table, one that reduces fashion’s footprint from the start.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.