Berlin is hosting the first festival celebrating wearable electronics and arts.

The Wear It Festival will run from 11-12 October and will include “fashion, electronic, textiles, music and wearable sensors”. On the first day, people will be able to take part in workshops teaching them how to make items including sound-reacting bracelets, a wearable radio and a scarf that can function as a DJ’s turntable. On the second day, a keynote speech will be given by Kate Hartman from Toronto’s Social Body Lab.

Wear the future

Thanks to leaps and bounds made in the smart technology sector, we’ve seen a surge in high-tech wearable garments in recent years: from sweatshirts that send text messages based on your gestures to wirelessly charging trousers and a T-shirt that reports the wearer’s health vitals to their smartphone.

The Wear It Festival hopes to celebrate and capitalise on this trend and provide a place where regular citizens can try their hand at designing their own wearable clothing items, which may in turn drive interest in these innovative garments.

Retail and clothing manufacturers would do well to note this growth in interest and find affordable and relevant ways to incorporate these new technologies into new product development. Indeed, this seems necessary as the clothing market in Germany stagnates. Mintel’s report Clothing Retailing – Germany, 2013 predicted a near-zero growth for clothing specialists’ sales in 2013, freezing annual sales at €28.9 billion (excluding VAT).

At the same time, brands that are looking to expand into this market would do well to keep in mind the importance of balancing high-tech features with the item’s aesthetic appeal.