[dropcap size=small]P[/dropcap]aris, Milan, London. Those longstanding capitals of style may play host to the glittering cavalcades of fashion week, but some of the most exciting developments in the industry are not paraded on the runway. They are taking place closer to home.

“Because of technology and trends in sustainability, the definition of fashion is no longer limited to apparel,” says Semun Ho, CEO of the Textile and Fashion Federation, a Singapore association that works to develop the local fashion and textile industry. According to Ho, who’s in her 50s, technology has allowed new businesses to spring up and address bugbears across the entire supply chain, ranging from prototyping to production and distribution.

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Local label Source Collections, for example, creates clothing from lyocell, which utilises nanotechnology to convert wood pulp and cotton waste into a synthetic fibre that’s stronger and silkier than cotton.

At a time when research teams working on applications of nanotechnology in new-age textiles has become just as important as creative directors of luxury houses, Ho believes home-grown fashion brands can leverage technology to make their mark on the world stage. “We have to be edgy enough to embrace the new dimension of things to come and not just (be) limited to what we are familiar with,” says Ho.

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