The Future Of (2022) s01e09 Episode Script


[upbeat music plays]
[Jurnee Smollett] You were gonna have
a quiet night in,
but here you are
in front of your closet again.
You've got that Dog Internet
charity event tonight.
You wanna look fire,
but you haven't got shit to wear.
It's all good, though.
Your closet has got your back.
You check out some outfits
and pick one you like,
but you're not just grabbing clothes.
This device is making them
right there in front of you.
[Eveleth] The idea that you could, like,
print your clothes at your closet
It would fit you
because it was designed to fit you.
That would be sweet.
[Smollett] This is the closet
of the future.
The world of fashion is home to artists
working on the cutting edge.
The future of fashion to me is all about
3D-printed products and accessories.
We really wanted to start a conversation.
"What if garments could grow?"
[Smollett] From the runway
to your walk-in closet,
they're about to change the way we dress.
The future will be digital.
[woman 1] We can move
at a much faster pace,
globally sharing our garments
with everyone.
[Smollett] Sustainable.
[woman 2] At the end
of a product's useful life,
it can just return to the earth
as nutrients for healthy soil.
[Smollett] And damn,
we're gonna look good.
[woman 3] We're only
in the beginning stage of this technology,
so it's really exciting
how this is gonna progress.
[theme music plays]
[jazzy music plays]
[Smollett] We ask ourselves
the question every morning.
"What am I going to wear today?"
When it works, it's amazing.
When it doesn't, well
[pop music plays in background]
there's always tomorrow's outfit.
No matter your style,
clothes are how we express ourselves,
but our clothes are also a big business.
A $2.5 trillion one.
There's the runways, the models,
and the seasonal collections.
I'm happy as a young designer
to contribute in any way that I can.
[Smollett] And whether
we realize it or not,
the styles we see on the runway
eventually end up in the nearby Zara.
[reporter] Is there one item that
you're obsessed with buying over and over?
White T-shirts.
[Smollett] And the fashion industry
doesn't just inspire, it produces.
Stitching, sewing,
and manufacturing the world's clothes.
[woman 3] We can use the cotton,
or silk, or natural fibers
Buttons, zippers, sequins, silk fabrics
Honestly, what needs to happen
is we all need to slow down.
[interviewer] What is it
in the fashion industry today
that isn't working?
Okay, let me let me try
to condense this in my head. Um
I first got into fashion
when I was a child,
like I used to make dresses
out of toilet paper,
but the longer
that I sort of spent in the industry,
the more problems
that I started to see with it.
[Smollett] One problem today is
that brands are churning out
more clothes than ever.
Pieces that mimic the latest runway
trends are manufactured at warp speed,
and sold at a low price.
It's called fast fashion.
Major retailers like,
you know, Forever 21, H&M, Zara,
these fast-fashion companies,
are creating new clothing
almost on a daily basis.
Not on a monthly basis or a yearly basis
because they're constantly
chasing after the next trend.
[Smollett] It's been reported
that in 1980,
the average American bought
about 12 items of clothing a year.
Now, it's up to almost 70.
Around the world,
people are hooked on Shein,
a fast-fashion app
that's as popular as Amazon in China.
And thanks to social media,
we're wearing these purchases less often.
According to one study,
in the UK, one in ten buy clothes
for the sole purpose of showing them off
on Instagram just one time.
It's a tidal wave of disposable clothing.
So this is from MAЁLYS.
This is something I got just recently.
[Smollett] Like most influencers,
Bianca J is sent piles
and piles of clothes and products.
[Bianca J] I get packages from brands
probably five times a week.
It's like about 20 times a month.
Instagram, TikTok, Facebook,
all of these
social-media platforms are really,
um, putting gas
on the fire of of fast fashion.
[Smollett] It's not just the fact
we're producing
and buying more clothes than ever.
The real issues lie
in what they're made of.
Say this shirt.
This shirt is probably synthetic.
If you give it a tug and if you see
a little bit of stretch in there,
it's probably got plastic in it.
You know, that's spandex,
nylon, polyester.
All of those are derived from petroleum.
[Smollett] That's right. Petroleum.
Synthetic fibers are plastics,
which are made
from raw materials like oil,
and are way cheaper
to produce than cotton or animal fibers.
It's probably, you know,
the industry's best-kept secret.
The fashion industry uses
342 million barrels of oil a year.
[Smollett] With clothes so affordable,
the average American tosses out
about 80 pounds of clothes per year.
there's an annual 92 million tons
of textile waste.
These are staggering numbers
given the fact that synthetic fibers
are not sustainable.
Plastics persist for hundreds of years.
I'm not sure you need a garment
to last ever that long.
[Smollett] Many of us try our best
to not waste clothing.
But still, these materials pose a problem.
Every time you wash your laundry,
small fibers come off your clothes,
drain into the water supply,
and find their way
into the natural environment.
They're called microplastics.
There is so much of it
that it's actually in clouds,
and it has rained microplastic.
[Smollett] The modern fashion industry
is a cultural behemoth
that impacts every corner of the world,
and despite having
so many clothing options
that we pollute the planet,
you still can't find a good pair of jeans.
I think probably everybody has had
the experience of trying to buy something
and it doesn't fit you.
[Smollett] But in a few years,
things may change.
You might not even have to wear clothes,
at least not on social media.
[electronic music plays]
As we continue to experience
more of our life through the Internet,
we'll still want to be able
to express ourselves through style.
In the future, we'll be able to do this
thanks to digital fashion.
It starts with a CGI software that's used
in today's biggest Hollywood movies.
[woman 1] VFX programs allow you
to map out, very quickly,
garments in real-time.
Saving, you know, hundreds of hours,
physically manufacturing these pieces.
[Smollett] One part
of the fashion industry's
eco-footprint is samples,
drafts of designs and products
that can't even be bought in a store.
By viewing and interacting
with potential products virtually first,
brands can make fewer clothes.
This way the brand is avoiding
all the environmental expense
of making those original samples.
[Smollett] And this tech won't just be
for the fashion houses.
Soon, you'll be wearing digital clothes.
It sounds far out,
but a lot of people already are.
Alissa Aulbekova and Paula Sello
are cofounders of Auroboros,
a British fashion house that specializes
in virtual ready-to-wear collections.
[Aulbekova] If we're changing the looks
as fast as Instagram filters
or Snapchat filters,
we could do that with clothing,
and do that with different ways
of expressing ourselves
without having
the material cost behind that.
[Smollett] Auroboros creates
hyper-realistic digital fashion pieces
that you can wear on social media.
This is how it works.
You buy a look, send in a photo,
and the team at Auroboros
digitally shapes the item to your body,
so you can post the pic or video online.
Music, art, um, and all the other
creative industries have been digitalized.
It's a natural progression.
The fashion industry is almost
the final missing puzzle piece.
[Smollett] In the future,
you'll be able
to see everyone's virtual outfits
by using AR products,
like Snap's Spectacles.
Or you'll be able to step into an even
more immersive version of the Internet.
It's something you've probably
already heard about.
- We call this the metaverse.
- [reporter 1] It's the metaverse.
- What what's the
- The metaverse
- [reporter 2] The metaverse.
- Am I in the metaverse every night?
Wait, let me change
into black pants and a t-shirt.
[Smollett] Stephen Colbert gets it.
And as Mark Zuckerberg announced
in this video about the metaverse,
once you have a digital avatar,
you're going to want to dress it up.
[woman 4] Hey, are you coming?
Yeah. Gotta find something to wear.
[Smollett] It's hard to imagine,
but virtual goods
are already a $100 billion business.
These goods are popular for a reason.
I play Animal Crossing,
and, I My favorite outfit
in Animal Crossing is the hot dog suit.
[whistle noise]
I think that often virtual spaces do allow
for a place for us to try out fashions,
to try out looks, to try ideas that maybe
we don't wanna commit to in real life.
[Smollett] And that's just one video game.
Imagine what will happen
if different companies
let you wear digital clothes
in multiple experiences.
Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Nike,
they're all planning
on this digital future,
one where you use the same avatar
for a business meeting as for video games.
Who knows? Maybe a few years from now,
your avatar will be wearing a custom dress
while kicking it
in a pair of Air Force 1's.
The best way to be sustainable now
is through digital fashion,
because we produce 97% less waste.
It does not physically exist.
And that's exactly what
we need from the fashion industry now.
[Smollett] In just a few years,
with the right AR application,
you could wear plain clothes
in the real world,
but go wild in the virtual one.
Everyone who essentially has
an Internet connection can be part of it.
It doesn't matter where you're from,
or what are you doing,
or what kind of body shape
and size you are, you can be part of it.
[Smollett] But not everyone
sees virtual fashion as a solution.
Honestly, I feel like virtual fashion,
to me,
seems just like another kind
of consumerist ploy
for people to make money.
Virtual fashion is probably not
as necessary as it should be,
and, um, maybe we shouldn't be sold
immaterial things.
[Smollett] If digital fashion
does take off,
in the future, people are still going
to wear real tangible clothes.
And even we won't
be able to predict what those look like.
Although that hasn't
stopped sci-fi from trying.
The problems we face today
with producing our clothes may continue.
However, designer Angela Luna offers
a way to buck the trend.
You know, we have fast fashion,
we have fast food.
They're both bad for the environment,
not good for your body,
but they'll get the job done.
So, comparing that to fashion,
it would be more ethically
and environmentally sound
to get the materials,
and actually make them for yourself.
[Smollett] So to create
a more sustainable future,
Angela Luna looked to the past.
She co-wrote Fashion Cookbook,
that demonstrates ways you can reuse
clothes or items laying around the house.
We may not be able
to recycle these old fabrics,
but we can upcycle them
and the personal touch
of creating your own apparel
will make it less likely
for you to throw away that shirt.
It's not really going to be something
that you're going to discard,
especially if you're using materials that
you had and loved in your closet before.
[Smollett] We get it.
This is a show about the future,
and we're talking
about making your own clothes.
But eventually, these kinds of designs
will be shared all over the Internet.
They'll allow us to create
truly personal fashion.
And in a few years,
your clothes will undergo
another major makeover.
They may actually come to life.
Instead of being made
of polyester and nylon,
your physical wardrobe is going to be made
of fabrics that have a life of their own.
The team at Auroboros
tried this with a couture gown.
We really wanted to start a conversation,
um, and imagining a more positive
and hopeful future.
What if garments could grow?
[Sello] Crystals can grow
over thousands of years,
but these crystals have grown
over three to four weeks,
and create these
beautiful floral structures.
These structures can actually perform
within garments.
[Smollett] It's the bespoke dress
of the future.
Meanwhile, scientists are working
on something a little more practical.
They're called biomaterials.
Here, they are making a fiber that's based
on a compound found in algae.
Although they are in a lab,
these researchers are
actually mimicking nature.
Biomaterials are actually using
the fundamental building blocks
that nature uses and turning them
into products or materials.
[Smollett] Dr. Theanne Schiros
is one of the researchers
at the forefront
of this promising new field.
It's a big step
towards sustainable fashion because,
unlike those
microfiber-releasing synthetics,
these biomaterials are 100% compostable.
So the idea is that at the end
of a product's useful life,
it can just return to the earth
as nutrients for healthy soil.
[Smollett] Out with the oil,
in with the new.
It brings a level of hope
to the current climate crisis.
[Smollett] Today,
researchers are exploring all types
of ways to make these new fabrics.
Like this bio-leather made
from microbial nanocellulose.
This stuff is grown using
a wide variety of nutrient sources,
including those from waste,
like fruit sugars or coffee grinds.
Once made, it can be turned
into something we can wear.
All the parts of the sneaker
are nanocellulose based,
except for this biodegradable cork bottom.
You could put it in your compost bin.
[Smollett] And the result of all this
is that we don't have to risk
the future of our planet
every time we want to buy new shoes.
Here, Theanne and other colleagues
from FIT show off some eco-friendly bags.
They're regenerative,
high performance, and beautiful.
What I'm showing today is my design
with the bio-fabrication
with the bio-leather.
We're very happy with where it is now.
The whole bag is biodegradable,
the yarn is waxed cotton yarn
that's very stable,
but will also biodegrade.
[Farias] It becomes a much
more valuable experience.
[Smollett] It's not just these folks
who are at the forefront
of this promising new technology.
Biomaterials are about to be everywhere.
Ye revealed a shoe
partially made of algae,
which sneakerheads were quick
to rave about.
The Foam RNNR was the shoe
of 2020 in my opinion.
[Smollett] It's a step toward
the sustainability
of Theanne's nanocellulose sneaker.
I might legally change my name
to "Christian Genius Billionaire"
[Smollett] Adidas released
a video showing off Stan Smiths
made of the mushroom-based material Mylo,
and Stella McCartney
is advertising handbags made out of it.
Mushrooms, algae,
they're just the beginning.
[Schiros] There's a lot
of groups using pineapple husks,
so a mesh of pineapple fibers
for a leather.
There is some interest
in doing jellyfish leather.
A small tweak to the microscopic structure
of the protein
gives you this green fluorescent protein,
which is found in a lot of marine animals.
[Smollett] In the future,
these materials will be widely produced,
and will replace the pesky polyesters
that are so harmful for the environment.
[Bianca J] I do feel like a lot
of consumers want to shop sustainably,
so if it's something that's easy to do,
I think people
would definitely be all for it.
[Smollett] But biomaterials alone
aren't the answer.
As long as they are produced
by international conglomerates,
you still might have trouble finding
that pair of jeans that fit perfectly.
You're like, "Who was this made for?"
"What human being is shaped this way?"
[Smollett] So how could it look better
in the future?
It goes back to Angela Luna's cookbook.
Your whole closet will be
totally unique to you.
But instead of sewing your own clothes,
what if you could just print them at home?
[electronic music plays]
Decades from now,
we'll merge personalized designs
with sustainable materials.
It's a future
we could have never imagined. Wait.
Actually, we may have thought
of this before.
Remember the movie Clueless?
There's that scene of Cher's closet.
[Cher] But seriously, I actually have
a way normal life for a teenage girl.
I mean, I get up, I brush my teeth,
- and I pick out my school clothes.
- [typing]
["Fashion" by David Bowie plays]
[Smollett] Someday, you'll have a closet
that won't just
let you explore possible outfits.
It'll actually make them
for you on the spot.
Picture yourself in your closet
of the future.
There's a machine
that offers up some outfits.
You pick one that piques your interest,
and the device scans your body
to get your exact measurements.
Then it 3D prints the design right
in front of you
using compostable biomaterials.
You won't have to worry about fabrics
that hurt the environment,
or growing out of your favorite look.
The future of fashion to me
is all about 3D-printed products
and accessories.
[Smollett] Just like your inkjet
follows a digital blueprint
to create a 2D image on a piece of paper,
3D printers create an object
one layer at a time.
[Koerner] What I find really great
about 3D printing with fashion
is that you can create designs
which you cannot make in any other way.
[Smollett] Designs like this one
in Black Panther.
Yep. Julia Koerner 3D printed
Queen Ramonda's dress,
and yeah, Angela Bassett looks fantastic.
Advancements in 3D-printing technology
will mean these devices could be anywhere.
The next time you take a vacation,
you won't even have to pack.
You can do a vibe check at the hotel pool
before you print out
what you want to wear.
If you don't like
picking out your clothes,
maybe you could subscribe
to your favorite designers,
or you could head
to a new kind of clothing store.
[Koerner] You might be able to send
your digital designs
to a shop down the street
where they can 3D print your garment,
either the one you designed,
or the design that you bought online.
[Smollett] And it will be done
with those incredible biomaterials.
Best of all,
these clothes will actually fit,
no matter your size, shape, or style.
3D printing is actually something
that could be really cool,
especially if you give the consumer
the accessibility to customize things
based on their certain profiles.
Growing up, it was like,
"Dang, like, I'm a large,"
it just kind of felt negative.
But I would love for there
to be more size-inclusive, um, options.
Or maybe you've really wanted
to try a certain style,
but been kinda embarrassed
and not sure if it's gonna work for you,
and you can just print it and wear it.
[Smollett] With the help
of augmented reality,
we can continue to experiment
with what we wear throughout the day.
Because you can print your own clothes,
you can make
your digital wardrobe a reality,
or you can incorporate both your physical
and digital clothes
into one seamless look.
[Sello] I think for us
really the desired future
is one that overlays realities
of digital and physical,
where we fluidly move between both.
[Smollett] In the future,
fashion will be inclusive,
and it'll happen all around you.
Best of all, your wardrobe
will be sustainable, stylish,
and tailored to you.
We all want to look good,
and in the future,
we might be able to feel good doing it.
[Luna] I love fashion
because it is an industry that has
an amazing history
and has an amazing future.
[Koerner] We want to always
re-identify ourselves.
We want to look at new aesthetics.
We want to rethink how we dress.
[Bianca J] You should want
to be happy in your own skin.
So I do love that part about it.
I think everybody will have a voice,
and everyone will have ability
to represent what they stand for.
I honestly think
that is a very beautiful future.
[theme music plays]
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