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Fashionable and nerdy – how does that go together? The online-magazine Fashnerd connects both. It reflects on fashion and technology as a new kind of so called wearables that become more and more part of the commercial fashion industry. How can wearables contribute to society, what are the benefits? We asked Fashnerd founder Mano ten Napel.
CCB Magazin: Mano, you are the editor in chief of Fashnerd. Who is your target group? Who is reading Fashnerd?
Mano ten Napel: Our readers are mainly made up of early adopters, entrepreneurs and fashion forward individuals in search of indispensable news in the fashion tech, Internet of Things (IoT), and the wearable tech space.
CCB Magazin: What is your main focus and why?
Mano ten Napel: Our main focus is to escalate wearable technology adoption by translating technology in a fashion voice. In doing so we aim to amplify the (sustainable) tech efforts of startups and corporate collaborations and help our audience to imagine how embracing technology can be of great added value.
We are still in an intermediary stage where we are only scratching on the surface of what will be possible in the years to come
CCB Magazin: You present a new Sustainability App ‘Good On You’ spreading goodness of transparency in fashion on your website? What exactly is that? What is it good for?
Mano ten Napel: 'Good on you' is one of the winners of the Fashion for Good / Plug and Play accelerator program here in Amsterdam. They have built an app that ranks and rates fashion companies and helps its users to make more sustainable choices when they are looking to buy clothes. At the same time, 'Good on You' is working with these brands to more effective communication of their ethical efforts.
CCB Magazin: In Germany we have a discussion about the negative aspects of technology in daily life. What is your opinion about it? Is it rather bad or beneficial? How are the situation and the discussion in your country about this?
Mano ten Napel: I think this discussion right now is taking place on a global level. Many concerns that users have today are very valid. When we look at privacy issues and the awareness of what really is done with the collected data there is still a long way to go. But there is also another side to this. At this point, it doesn’t really matter what emerging technology we are talking about, we are still in an intermediary stage where we are only scratching on the surface of what will be possible in the years to come. As technology is shrinking and thus becoming more cost-effective, it is going to be easier to be beneficial for those who are building tech. I would not be surprised if in a few years, privacy will no longer be a handover. It’s more likely to be a feature that companies can compete on.
Since we are increasingly living in a networking society it will be interesting to see how ‘it’s who you know’ might influence ‘it’s what you have’
CCB Magazin: How will the future of wearable technology look like? Is there a risk of jobs getting destroyed?
Mano ten Napel: With 5G slowly but surely rolling out we will see a decrease of design limitations which undoubtedly will lead to new use cases in wearable tech. AI and machine learning will play a big role in a few years making it that wearables are more easily functioning as a portal to the Internet of Things. This will lead to an enormous increase of data being gathered which subsequently needs to be interpreted by data scientists and data analysts. This is a development that will be seen across many industries and the ones who think they can ignore it in the years to come are the ones whose days are numbered.
CCB Magazin: Who benefits from this development? The micro-entrepreneurs or the big companies?
Mano ten Napel: This is a really tough question. I'd like to think it's the startups that will benefit from this because it’s easier for them to move quickly. But in order to scale up you always need the resources that only bigger companies have. Since we are increasingly living in a networking society it will be interesting to see how ‘it’s who you know’ might influence ‘it’s what you have’.
CCB Magazin: You are a part of the upcoming Wear It Festival. What is your part in it?
Mano ten Napel: I have been working with Thomas Gnahm and Nadine to help them curate content that aims to make a difference. Looking at which areas need insightful content to bridge gaps, whether this is the gap between prototyping and the supply-chain or between the academic world and corporates. A great way to do this is to put those in the limelight that are passionate about creating the necessary awareness in the industry.
For more information about Fashion and Tech, read the interview with Thomas Gnahm in the CCB Magazine
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