10 Predictions on the Next 10 Years
No one knows what the future holds. But these experts have insider perspective. They hail from industry-leading organizations – like Google, Airbnb and Ford Foundation – as well as emerging upstarts. Here are predictions, in their own words, for how your life will look different a decade from now.
THE EXPERT: CARLY-ANN FERGUS
Program Director, XRC Labs
XRC is a retail tech accelerator launched in partnership with founding sponsors Kurt Salmon and Parsons School of Design at The New School. As the program director, Fergus helps select the portfolio startups, connects them with corporate partners, resources, and industry experts to accelerate their businesses.
The retail industry loses as much as $50 billion a year on “dead inventory” – clothes that consumers don’t buy, or don’t buy at full price. So brands are trying to be more responsive to our tastes. Zara and H&M, for example, have built their businesses around agile supply chains that can turn around new styles in a few weeks. THE NEXT STEP WILL BE ON-DEMAND CLOTHING.
At XRC Labs, we’re growing startups like Nimbly and Ziel that let designers customize styles and create them quickly and locally. And in April, Amazon received patent approval for an automated, on-demand apparel manufacturing system—a confirmation that this tech might eventually become an industry standard.
In the future, brands will stop trying to forecast what will be popular next season and then manufacture it in bulk. Rather, they’ll be able to produce garments on-demand, instantly responding to the trends we set as shoppers. It will put more exciting options on the market, and make it possible to create pieces on-the-spot in stores. It will give us the ability to order custom colors, fits and fabrics on pieces that will show up on our doorstep in two days or less."