Shahida Afrin, a visionary woman with dedication, perseverance and self challenger in the area of Fashion Technology who is a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Textiles Technology Management, Wilson College of Textile, NC State University, USA and TATM Representative at American Association Of Textile Chemists & Colorists and also the former student of Shahid Abdur Rab Serniabat Textile Engineering College, Barishal recently talked with Denim Focus coordinator Pranta Biswas in a virtual meeting.
She shared her personal views about world fashion technology and the recent area of development for the future fashion industry. For denim focus readers here are the summary of the interview.
Pranta Biswas: How do you see the Fashion industry?
Shahida Afrin: As a designer, I see the fashion industry is continuously evolving. Even though we see the fashion industry is always changing but the old designs and patterns are coming back. But what I don’t support is the unsustainable approach of fast fashion which is highly toxic for our environment.
Pranta Biswas: What was your observation during COVID-19 pandemic?
Shahida Afrin: My observation of the industry was that since one whole season (summer) the stores were closed due to pandemic, the industry was immensely impacted. I thought that a lot of company during this time will be lost but surprisingly that didn’t happen in the USA rather I heard from a friend of mine who works in the home textile industry that their demand spiked during this pandemic because people are mostly staying at home so they need more home textile products.
Furthermore, my observation of life during this time is that sometimes we need to slow down from our very fast life and rethink our way of living.
Pranta Biswas: Which technology is developing for new normal, how can we be ready for it?
Shahida Afrin: As a technology enthusiast, this pandemic had taught us that, a lot of jobs (I think most of the jobs) can be done virtually. For instance, in the USA most of the design works are done virtually now. Even sample making can be done virtually too. I work on such technology (3D apparel simulation). Besides 2D CAD designs, 3D virtual simulations are getting more and more acceptance for sample visualization. I think since Bangladesh is one of the major apparel manufacturers for the Western countries, hence Bangladesh should also start adopting this technology. By using 3D apparel simulation, companies can send the virtual sample to their buyer, which will save time, and possible environmental damage from excessive sample making.
Pranta Biswas: As an academic researcher, what do you suggest for fashion learners?
Shahida Afrin: Technology, technology, technology…..there is no alternative, the sooner you learn industry-related technologies the better, at least this pandemic has shown us that there is no alternative of technology.
Pranta Biswas: Any message for the Denim Focus reader?
Shahida Afrin: One message I would like to send that we all use all kinds of textile products in our daily lives and we hear sustainable fashion a thousand times daily now. But I believe that, as long as we are personally not aware of our use of textile products, we can never promote sustainability. In my personal life, what I am trying to do is, loving my old closet in newer ways and recycling my old or used stuff. I hope this interview at least gives some sustainable insights to the readers.
Thanks to Denim Focus for featuring my interview and looking forward to gathering new knowledge from this magazine.