Rethinking How We Tag Our Garments

Wearable Labeling Technology for the 21st Century.

Ecology of Clothing      1 Week          

Awarded Honorable Mention in the Fast Company's 2020 Innovation by Design Awards. Co-authored with Sarah Jane Wilcot.

Image by Joyce Romero

Concept

        Our clothing label system utilizes two methods of labeling: one consumer side using Snap-Tag technology and the other for manufacturers with SNAP-Tag. 
       Consumer targeted labeling would utilize Snap-Tag technology, similar to QR codes; a Snap-Tag is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached and is read by phone camera applications. The code is printed on the garment label and provides consumers with a product profile supporting information such as garment care, garment history, as well as trade-in or recycling information. Consumer garment profile check-ins would allow brands to gather data on their products post-sale, tracking key performance metrics, and real-time insight into product movement. 
        SNAP-tag chemical labeling, which is an ID tag embedded in the DNA structure of the product's fiber, assures product identification even with a partial clothing tag. A reliable labeling system allows for a boutique upcycled consumer platform and the possibility of an innovative clothing recycling system. 
         Garment tracking and identification also create the opportunity for brand-driven resale systems, where post-sale products continue to be assets. Companies, motivated by the potential resale value of a garment, would be driven to create innovative designs that optimized clothing lifespans by designing for durability or easy repair.  
         This dual tag system touches upon opportunities present in both consumer and manufacturing realms. The system provides more information to buyers and allows brands to utilize consumer-garment data. These tags establish a baseline identification system that would allow for the development of a streamlined fiber recycling system. It can also provide a monetary incentive for brands to take responsibility for their products post-first sale and would create a framework that support the production of intentionally designed and sustainable goods.

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 3.58.53 PM.png

The EPA reported that 84 percent of unwanted garments made their way to landfills and incinerators. As a whole, the world's citizens acquire about 80 billion apparel items annually. And on average each piece will be worn seven times before being thrown away. 

 
 

Snap Tag
Consumer Label

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 3.32.25 PM.png

SNAP-Tag 
Chemical Label

The SNAP-tag is fused to the protein of interest. Labeling occurs through covalent attachment to the tag, releasing either guanine or a cytosine moiety. The ID tag is then embedded in the DNA structure of the product’s fiber. 

FA_SNAPTag_Figure1_edited.jpg

Opportunities 

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 3.55.32 PM.png

=​

  • Garment profiles 

  • Emotional connection 

  • Post-sale tracking key performance metrics

  • Real-time insight into product movement 

  • Boutique upcycled consumer platform

  • Innovate recycling system 

  • Manufacturing identification 

  • Fiber/Chemical cellular identification

  • Garment construction innovation