European Research Project Fashionable

Fashion-able project developed integrated technologies to fit the requirements of people with physical disabilities and special needs. An online configurator allows making made-to-order truly customised product – shirts for wheelchair users, footwear for people with deformed feet and orthotic products to suit individual needs. The client, who is a co-designer, is connected to the clothing technician and the textile producer. Fashion-able project is exceptional with its digitalized product configuration, complete online order process, an integrated supply chain and use of new materials.

The personalised products at the center of FASHION-ABLE are those wearable goods addressing complex personal needs of growing market niches of consumers and which today are not satisfied by mass-produced goods in terms of health-support and performances.

The technologies researched by FASHION-ABLE support the products creation at the following stages:

  • conception & co-design of products (involving the consumer)
  • sustainable manufacture.

The project results include: an User framework defining and quantifying of user needs; new services for Collaborative-Product Customization; new stretch-leather’s lean manufacturing processes and equipment; new 3D-spacer fabric’s flexible manufacturing process and machinery; new textile’s finishing operations and equipment; extended manufacturing order management structure and tools; Life-Cycle Analysis instruments; and inter-organisational Product Data Management tools.

Started in November 2011 the FASHION-ABLE, 36-months activities, implemented and demonstrated in industrial contexts (and premises) the value of new technologies developed for three highly challenging target groups:

- fashionable footwear for diabetic feet,
- fashionable clothing for wheelchair users,
- high-performing textile compression bandages.

The harmonized combination of these technologies have a direct impact on health-support, comfort, safety and quality of life of the targeted consumers expected to account for significant shares of population, namely diabetics developing diabetic feet (30 million); physically disabled people requiring a wheelchair (5 million); and sufferers from acute periods of musculoskeletal disorders (40 million)

The FASHION-ABLE cross-sectorial approach has strong potential for further development beyond the currently considered applications. The results allow upgrades such as extensions and up-scaling of functional customisation with little effort. This enable production of goods with new functionalities as well as applications for personalised products relevant in highly demanding markets.