The Next Black
New technologies, sustainability concerns and innovative minds are transforming our clothes. The Next Black documentary film introduces the designers, innovators and leaders who are shaping the future of clothing. This is not a film about what’s new, it’s about what’s next.
What is The Next Black?
The Next Black is a documentary that brings together designers, innovators and leaders from around the globe for an open discussion on the concept of clothing. It probes beyond what we are wearing to explore how we produce clothes, how we interact with them and how we care for them. Each person we interviewed has a fresh perspective on the future of the clothing industry - and all of them are using their passions to fuel change.
Why The Next Black?
The Next Black aims to deepen our understanding of what people will be wearing and washing - today and tomorrow. We've taken a look at how evolving textiles and technologies are affecting the creation of clothing, as well as how growing concerns about sustainability are transforming the way we do laundry.
Learning more about how clothes are made helps us make smarter choices about what to wear
Meet the pioneers
adidas is taking performance tracking to the next level by introducing cutting-edge technology directly into the fabric of sportswear.
BioCouture is the world’s first biodesign consultancy, working to produce clothing without generating toxic waste.
Patagonia leads the way in sustainable practices by encouraging responsible consumption and incentivising recycling in the clothing industry.
Studio XO is shaping the future of clothing by creating clothes that change shape, cut and colour according to the wearer's preference.
Yeh Group pioneers innovation that helps minimise the environmental impact of dyeing fabric by using less water.
Innovation is in our DNA. We strive to stay one step ahead, which is why we are working to care for the clothing of the future today.
The future of clothing today
We care about what’s next because we want to understand the needs of the future. AEG introduced the first automatic washing machine and invented the technology that makes modern dryers energy efficient. Our commitment extends beyond products to our Care More initiative which helps you get the most out of the clothes you wear.
Sustainability: preserving what we have
To improve sustainable consumption and production, we need to understand the entire lifecycle of an item of clothing. The Next Black explores the environmental impact of the production process, from growing the materials to dyeing, washing and transporting them. It also explores how many garments we buy.
We have influenced many people to rethink their relationship with their clothes
Vice-President of Environmental Initiatives, Patagonia
Achieving sustainability means looking beyond our own desires. Rick Ridgeway feels that the best thing we can do for our planet is to buy only what we need. He encourages consumers to purchase based on need rather than desire and to reduce what we buy, repair what we can, reuse and recycle.
Patagonia believes in acting responsibly, living within our means and leaving behind a planet we would want to live in
We need to have colour…but I can see that we’re going to be applying colours in different ways
BioCouture founder Suzanne Lee mixes green tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast to grow what she calls 'vegetable leather'
Grow your own clothing
Imagine being able to grow yourself a new outfit. BioCouture is exploring how organisms like bacteria, yeast, fungi and algae could be harnessed to produce fabrics. The result is a completely natural, 100% compostable product. It can be dried, cut and sewn together to make clothes. Even better, it is produced without creating polluting waste — a truly sustainable future for fashion.
Style that lasts
Learning how to care for your clothes is a vital step in adopting more sustainable behaviours. Did you know that extending the life of your clothes by just nine months can reduce your carbon and water footprints by up to 30%? We've taken steps to help you care more, even for your most delicate silks, woollens and high performance gear.
Watch The Next Black
The trend for fast fashion saw consumption of textiles increase by 47% in the 10 years since the millennium. But at what cost to the environment? Meet the designers, innovators and leaders who are challenging clothing innovation and behaviour to shape the future of what we wear and how we wear it.
It’s only natural
Caring about how clothes are made turns clothing into an investment in the future rather than a throwaway pleasure. This has a profound effect on both our buying decisions and our approach to caring for clothes. Our My AEG app offers tips on the best methods to care for delicate, natural fibres and specialist clothing.
Technology: the future of clothing
Technology is on the verge of transforming what we wear. From sportswear that monitors the body, to fashion that inhabits the space where science, art and human physicality collide. Around the world, innovators are working to make technology an integral part of the clothing we wear.
One day we will wear the surface of the computer on our bodies
Studio XO designs feature effects such as lights and bubble machines
When we think of wearing technology, we often think of watches or similar wearables. Not Nancy Tilbury. Her innovative Studio XO designs have adorned some of the world’s leading artists, including the Black Eyed Peas. Studio XO also caught the eye of Lady Gaga and is now an integral part of TechHaus, her creative technology enterprise.
Fashion you control
Studio XO's ambition is to reduce the amount of clothes in our wardrobes by allowing our future clothes to change shape, cut and colour in tune with our preferences and favourite trends. It could even enable us to subscribe to fashion content digitally and create playlists for our bodies in the same way we do on digital entertainment platforms.
Sooner rather than later you will see more and more sensors in more and more clothes
Made for performance
Since 2010, adidas has been using its Innovation Lab to discover ways of integrating technology into its sportswear. The result is the MiCoach Team Elite System, which is now being trialled by world-class sports teams such as AC Milan, Chelsea FC and the New Zealand All Blacks to track on-field data in real time.
Imagine wearing clothes that are as smart as the devices we carry. The MiCoach system features a fabric wire woven directly into a breathable base layer garment, to monitor players’ body activity. Tiny sensors in this wire connect to the system hub, or cell. These measure heart rate, power, speed, acceleration and field positioning during training.
MiCoach allows coaches to track player performance using a handy app