There's no doubt about it: our love affair with technology is a tempestuous one. From widespread data breach scandals to its impact on mental health, tech can get a bad reputation. Social media still battles its trolls and even on professional platforms, people have grown weary of peers boasting countless "connections" when in reality, only a handful represent genuine relationships.
And yet, we can’t seem to get enough of it. Tech devotees argue strongly in favour of its democratic ability to help people wherever they are and whoever they may be, to form deep and authentic relationships. Rather than dividing people, they urge, digital platforms can bring individuals together, enabling mutual growth and tapping into the power of the digital community.
A Digital Community
Across the globe, there are now more people with access to the Internet (51%) than without it – a number that is only set to rise. Increased accessibility will see more users than ever uniting through their shared affinities on digital platforms to exchange ideas, debate the latest issues and lobby for change. As a result, businesses are rapidly having to change the ways in which they interact with clients and consumers. Homogenous, mass marketing communications have transformed into targeted, personalised campaigns as it has become clear that there’s no "one size fits all" any more (if, indeed, there ever was).
If a business wants to thrive, then it needs to be a social animal. Increasingly, they are providing a digital space in which their clients can strike up real-time conversations with them and with others to solve problems, share relevant content and forge productive partnerships. This disruptive "digital revolution" is being seen across all industries, from house-buying to peer-to-peer lending, and the textile industry is no exception.
A Fashion and Textile Network
Buyers’ and sellers’ expectations are changing as a result of the progress technology has made. In addition to the opportunities afforded through face-to-face interactions at leading textile fairs each year, both parties want to be able to search and trade globally, from wherever they may be, in real-time too. They want to share their latest discoveries and engage in natural, meaningful dialogues with those on each side of the trade to build productive business partnerships. These are the desires that spurred the founders of Digifair into action: a global, online platform that brings all the players in the textile industry together through their shared passions and goals.
An ideal fashion and textile community is completely connected, starting online interactions that become significant professional relationships as well.
Digifair: on-demand fabric sourcing
“For us, it’s all about embracing the ways in which technology can optimise lives,” explains Cristiane Macedo, Digifair’s Head of Marketing. “We want to give buyers and sellers an easy, efficient and enjoyable way to find their ideal business partners. Time is a precious commodity, which is why we’ve created a global space that’s open for business, 365 days a year, and that helps to keep fashion buyers up to date with the most relevant news and information.”
If there’s one industry which prides itself on staying ahead of the curve, it’s fashion, so the demand for the latest updates at the touch of a button is high. Transparency is also becoming a prized asset for designers, buyers and sellers alike, as consumers show an increasing interest in those who support environmental sustainability and ethical working conditions. Rather than shying away from these demands, players in the textile industry would do far better to embrace them, demonstrate their commitment to these values and stimulate debate through the power of technology. By actively engaging with their followers, fashion brands can strike up longer-lasting relationships, strengthen their brand positioning and ultimately improve retail performance.
By empowering buyers to grow their networks and manage their projects at any time, on any device, the dream is to empower emerging fashion designers or small to medium fashion brands that face challenges with time or resources in order to find their ideal fabric, material and trims for their collections and projects.
Improving retail performance can strengthen a brand and bring customers closer to them. Engaging with followers and creating a community is much easier with the help of technology.
Technology to Build a Community
The days of relying on third parties are numbered, as people target their audiences directly (and creatively), establishing a dialogue and responding to demands accordingly. And it’s the technology that’s making it happen.
If at some point we assumed technology would isolate us from each other (and it can also do that), the overall results have been way more positive: people are coming together to collaborate and create, regardless of their physical location, and bringing serious technology advances with them.
Community connections are a fundamental aspect of digital technology. With information at our fingertips, we are empowered to create online networks that apply a change in our lives and speed up our process of learning together, increasing the reach of it at the same time. For brands and companies, that means building partnerships and multiplying the positive impact they can have in the world.
Technology doesn't necessarily isolate us: it can be an important means of bringing people together across the globe and building a meaningful digital community.
Our need for meaningful relationships with others is what makes us truly human and, as history has shown time and time again, the power of the digital community is profound and far-reaching. Digifair is on a mission to combine that power with the latest innovations to transform the textile industry for the better, for everyone. It seems we’re just as much in love with tech as ever. Join us on the journey.