State of Fashion Technology Report 2022 – How Many Friends Do You Really Need? – An American Moment in an Australian Campaign – Is travel making a comeback?

State of Fashion Technology Report 2022 – How Many Friends Do You Really Need? – An American Moment in an Australian Campaign – Is travel making a comeback?

First of all, we would like to draw your attention to the latest “State of Fashion Technology Report 2022” from guest authors of McKinsey.

The second item gives you an insight on “How Many Friends Do You Really Need?” this is a reply to the questions around friendship. It is written by Catherine Pearson from the New York Times.

The third item “An American Moment in an Australian Campaign” presents you with the hard bandages politics are functioning in Australia and how discriminating the campaign can be.

The forth feature “Is travel making a comeback?”, allows an insight on how McKinsey is offering you various reports to cover this important theme.

We wish you a fine week in your business and private life, and don’t forget to return next Tuesday to meet the new issue of TextileFuture’s Newsletter.


Here starts the first item:


As technological innovation accelerates, fashion companies have an opportunity to serve customers better while also creating a more efficient, responsive, and responsible business.

This report is a collaborative effort by Imran Amed, Anita Balchandani, Achim Berg, Holger Harreis, Manuel Hurtado, Saga af Petersens, Roger Roberts, and Carlos Sanchez Altable, representing views from the Apparel, Fashion & Luxury Practice. Anita Balchandani is a senior partner in McKinsey’s London office; Achim Berg is a senior partner in the Frankfurt office; Holger Harreis is a senior partner in the Düsseldorf office; Manuel Hurtado is a consultant in the Madrid office, where Carlos Sanchez Altable is a partner; Roger Roberts is a partner in the Silicon Valley office; and Saga af Petersens is a consultant in the Stockholm office. Imran Amed is the founder, editor-in-chief, and CEO of the Business of Fashion and an alumnus of the London office.

The authors wish to thank Larissa Blau, Pamela Brown, Sandrine Devillard, Jonatan Janmark, Madé Lapuerta, Phoebe Lindsay, Ewa Starzynska, Michael Straub, and Cyrielle Villepelet for their contributions to this report.

In 2021, fashion companies invested between 1.6 and 1.8 % of their revenues in technology. By 2030, that figure is expected to rise to between 3.0 and 3.5 %. Behind the predicted increase is a conviction among many that technology could create a competitive edge—in customer-facing activities, where companies have mostly focused to date, and, more increasingly, in operations. Technologies such as robotics, advanced analytics, and in-store applications may help streamline processes and support sustainability, as well as create an exceptional customer experience (exhibit).

Consumer digital engagement rose sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of more hours spent online, new shopping habits, and rising interest in gaming and virtual worlds. In 2021, people spent on average just below four hours on their mobile phones, which includes about two and a half hours of scrolling though social media. 1 Of the fashion customers who made the move to online-shopping channels in 2021, 48 % said the pandemic was the reason, 27 % cited convenience, and 11 % cited product availability and promotions. 2 The pandemic also boosted digital brand relationships, with 72 % of customers reporting they interacted with brands online in 2021. In the year ahead, as restrictions ease in some geographic areas, digital interactions will likely stabilize at about 66 % on average. 3

Looking ahead, the impact of technology on people’s lives may accelerate. By 2024, AI-generated speech could power more than half of human interactions with computers, McKinsey analysis shows. Soon after, more than 75 % of enterprise-generated data could be processed by cloud or edge computing. 4 This offers a more flexible, scaleable foundation on which brands can potentially build their tech offerings. By 2030, more than 80 % of the global population is expected to have access to 5G networks, 5 enabling, among other things, faster connectivity and data transfer across Internet of Things devices.

The operational potential of technology is becoming ever more apparent. McKinsey analysis shows that fashion companies that now embed AI into their businesses models could see a 118 % cumulative increase in cash flow by 2030. Conversely, those that are slower to invest in digital technology will lag behind—and could see a 23 % relative decline. Over the next three years, potential key areas in which fashion executives could make digital investments are personalization, store technologies, and end-to-end value chain management—areas in which digital can make a real difference to performance.

Fashion’s five key technology themes

As fashion industry executives consider how to maximize their technology resources, McKinsey and the Business of Fashion have identified five key themes that could help the industry address some pressing challenges, as well as unlock potential opportunities: metaverse reality check, hyperpersonalisation, connected stores, end-to-end upgrade, and traceability first.

Metaverse reality check. The marketing value of digital fashion and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) may now be clear, but fashion brands will need to separate the concrete opportunities from the hype to generate sustainable revenue streams presented by growing consumer engagement with the metaverse.

Hyperpersonalization. Brands have access to a growing arsenal of personalization tools and technologies to upgrade how they customize and personalize their customer relationships. The opportunity for executives now is to harness big data and artificial intelligence to provide one-to-one experiences that build long-term loyalty.

Connected stores. The inexorable rise of e-commerce has forced fashion players to rethink the role of physical stores. Fashion executives can address consumer pain points by using in-store mobile apps to enhance the in-store experience and microfulfillment technologies to leverage the store for the quick-commerce era.

End-to-end upgrade. Digital tools and analytics have transformed key parts of the fashion value chain, but these optimizations are often siloed within organizations, limiting the potential of cross-functional improvements. Brands should embark on end-to-end value chain integration to create more efficient and more profitable ways of operating.

Traceability first. Traceability systems powered by traceability software and big data will help fashion brands reach far into their supply chains to understand the entire life cycle of their products, a key enabler for sustainability road maps.

Of all the technology-based evolutions affecting the fashion industry, one of particular interest is virtual worlds, also known as the metaverse. Global spending on virtual goods reached more than USD 100 billion in 2021, more than doubling the total in 2015, 6 with around 30 % of revenues attributed to virtual fashion assets. 7 Amid demand for products such as virtual fashion and NFTs, fashion companies focused on metaverse innovation and commercialization could generate more than 5 % of revenues from virtual activities over the next two to five years. 8 The task for decision makers, however, will be to focus on specific opportunities.

For many fashion brands, highly personalised customer experiences are a cornerstone of their digital businesses. Their customers expect nothing less. Advancements in AI, analytics, and cloud computing mean that businesses have the tools to work with all types of data across channels in real time. This could support a move to hyper-personalisation, in which technology could help search-based e-commerce transform into individualised discovery of products and styles. This may enable customers to routinely access curated websites and marketplaces, from landing pages to payments. To make that vision a reality, decision makers may need to optimise their data and analytics capabilities and roll them out at scale. While this may create some important considerations (for example, to ensure that customer data is protected and that data collection follows best practices), the upside could be the ability to acquire and retain loyal customers.

In parallel to personalisation, the coming year will likely see many brands investing in in-store functionality and experiences, bridging the gap between online and offline channels—and moving away from stand-alone technologies such as magic mirrors, connected hangers, and interactive hologrammes. In-store mobile “clienteling” apps could offer a frictionless way for store associates to serve customers, while in-store mobile apps can help boost engagement, reduce customer pain points, and increase time spent browsing. Beyond the shop floor, robotics and stock optimization software can help brands and retailers set up micro-fulfilment centres, integrating physical stores as digital nodes in their distribution and delivery networks and cutting fulfilment costs by up to 90 %. 9

From demand forecasting to transport operations, a critical element in expanding the role of technology could be to apply digital tools to make end-to-end improvements in the value chain. To operate more efficiently, brands could consider breaking down the silos that have defined many digitization programs and integrating multiple back-end systems, workflows, and data functions. More than 60 % of fashion executives believe creating integrated digital processes throughout their organisations will be among their top five areas for digitization as they look to 2025. 10 By adopting digitally enabled value chain solutions, brands could see a 50 % reduction in time to market, an 8 % rise in full-price sell-through, and a 20 % decline in manufacturing costs, our analysis shows.

More than 60 % of fashion executives believe creating integrated digital processes throughout their organizations will be among their top five areas for digitisation as they look to 2025.

More than 50 % of fashion decision makers say traceability will be a top-five enabler of reducing emissions in their supply chains, 11 but many brands currently have visibility over only direct supplier relationships. We see brands increasing their focus on traceability through their supply chains, helping them address demands from regulators, investors, and customers for greater transparency. As they aim to cut emissions and meet their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) targets, brands could benefit from a common data language to enable comparability, as well as new labeling standards and tracking software. Brands could consider joining forces with peers, start-ups, and industry bodies to establish a common data standard and to share data and knowledge via software platforms, open ledgers, and big data technologies.

One of the few certainties in fashion is that nothing stays the same, and the opportunities offered by technology are continuing to evolve as some markets look to move beyond the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The task for fashion decision makers is to consider how to harness technology to creativity, streamline operations, and create value from innovation that can be sustained in the years ahead.


This is the beginning of the second feature:

How Many Friends Do You Really Need?

Social circles were shrinking even before the pandemic. Here’s what the science says about the number of close friendships we should have.

By guest author Catherine Pearson from the New York Times

An ongoing argument my husband and I have —  which has become more contentious during the pandemic — is about how many friends we should have.

We both have one or two close friends and siblings we like to spend time with. Plus, we are busy parenting two young boys who sap most of our energy. As a textbook introvert, this feels like plenty of friends to me. Excessive, even. But my husband is an extrovert who comes alive around other people. As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, I can feel him yearning for more.

He’s not alone. For years, friendship in America has been in decline, a trend that accelerated during the pandemic. Three decades ago, 3 percent of Americans told Gallup pollsters they had no close friends; in 2021, an online poll put it at 12 percent. About a year into the pandemic, 13 percent of women and 8 percent of men age 30 to 49 said they’d lost touch with most of their friends.

There are health implications to all of this. Friendship can be an important factor in well-being, while loneliness and social isolation — distinct but related conditions — can be associated with an increased risk for conditions like depression and anxiety or heart disease and stroke. An often-cited 2010 meta-analysis led by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University in Utah, concluded that loneliness is as harmful to physical health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

“It’s a natural question,” Dr. Holt-Lunstad said about the “ideal” number of friends. “Just like we have guidelines and recommendations for the amount of sleep we get and how physically active we are, this is health relevant.”

While she and other friendship researchers admit there aren’t many studies that have specifically tackled the question of how many friends people should aim for, those that have been done offer a range — and somewhere between three and six close friends may be the sweet spot.

What does the research say?

If your goal is simply to mitigate the harmful impact loneliness can have on your health, what matters most is having at least one important person in your life — whether that’s a partner, a parent, a friend or someone else, said Jeffrey Hall, a professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas.

“Going from zero to one is where we get the most bang for your buck, so to speak,” Dr. Hall said. “But if you want to have the most meaningful life, one where you feel bonded and connected to others, more friends are better.”

The best-known theory of how many friends people can (though not necessarily should) have comes from British psychologist and anthropologist Robin Dunbar. What has come to be known as Dunbar’s number contends that humans are only cognitively able to maintain about 150 connections at once (subsequent research has put the number higher). That includes an inner circle of about five close friends, followed by larger concentric circles of more casual types of friends.

Other estimates are in a similar ballpark. One 2016 study suggested people who have six or more friends have improved health throughout their lives, while a 2020 study by Suzanne Degges-White, professor and chair of the Counseling and Higher Education department at Northern Illinois University, found that middle-aged women who had three or more friends tended to have higher levels of overall life satisfaction.

Those estimates seem to track with people’s sense of how many friends they should be shooting for. Dr. Degges-White recently conducted a survey of 297 adults, which has not been published or subject to peer review but found that 55 percent of participants believed two to three close friends was ideal, while 31 percent thought four to six was the goal.

But all of this can be really challenging to study, because friendship and intimacy are subjective, and there isn’t a widely used scale researchers share to define those concepts across studies. Closeness can be particularly squishy. Dr. Degges-White said that to a certain extent it’s a case of: “In your heart, you know the difference.”

It’s also unclear how social media factors into all of this, as research suggests the size of a person’s online network may not have any meaningful impact on their perceived well-being. While many friendships have faded during the pandemic, many people have found connection online.

How can you tell if you need more friends?

While friendship research offers some benchmarks, it may be more useful for most of us to simply do a bit of soul-searching. Marisa Franco, a psychologist and author of the forthcoming book “Platonic: How The Science of Attachment Can Help You Make — and Keep — Friends,” recommends starting with a fairly obvious but powerful question: Do I feel lonely?

“Loneliness is a sort of signal or alarm system,” Dr. Franco said. Everyone feels lonely from time to time, but this is a deeper question about whether you regularly feel left out or isolated. One recent survey suggested that roughly one in three Americans have experienced “serious loneliness” during the pandemic.

It also helps to ask yourself if there are parts of your identity that feel restricted, Dr. Franco said.

“Different people bring out different parts of us. So when you have a larger friend group, you’re able to experience this side of yourself that loves golf, and this side of yourself that loves cars, and this side of yourself that loves flowers,” she said. “If you feel like your identity has sort of shrunk, or you’re not feeling quite like yourself, that might indicate you need different types of friends,” she added.

Of course, making friends in adulthood isn’t always easy. Research shows people struggle with it because they find it difficult to trust new people, and because they are simply crunched for time. For those reasons, it is often easier to start by rekindling old relationships that have fizzled, Dr. Franco said. Take initiative and don’t assume that friendships just happen organically, she said. But be judicious. Spending time with friends you feel ambivalent about — because they’re unreliable, critical, competitive or any of the many reasons people get under our skin — can be bad for your health.

The amount of time you actually spend with your friends matters, too. Dr. Hall’s research suggests that on average, very close friendships tend to take around 200 hours to develop. Quantity and quality go hand-in-hand.

To a tired introvert like me, the effort that requires just sounds exhausting. Luckily, Dr. Hall added that finding three to six friends “isn’t a magic number” for everyone. “Your personality and the characteristics of your life are going to make a difference,” he said.

So maybe my husband is right — when I am no longer consumed by pandemic fatigue and child-rearing, I might kick myself for not having done more to build a solid group of friends. But I’ve got time to bring up my numbers.

A Guide to Building and Nurturing Friendships

Friendships are an essential ingredient in a happy life. Here’s how to give them the care and attention they deserve.


Here is the beginning of the third item:

An American Moment in an Australian Campaign

Prime Minister Scott Morrison dismissed criticism of the Liberal candidate Katherine Deves as cancel culture.Credit…Pool photo by Jason Edwards. Caption courtesy by the New York Time


By guest author Yan Zhuang from the Australia Bureau of the New York Times. Yan Zhuang is a reporter in The New York Times’s Australia bureau, based in Melbourne.

The Australia Letter is a weekly newsletter from our Australia bureau.

Perhaps the ugliest part of Australia’s election campaign has been the debate around the rights of transgender people. Katherine Deves, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s handpicked candidate for the seat of Warringah, courted controversy this week when she walked back a previous apology for calling transition surgery “mutilation.”

Mr. Morrison has resisted calls — including from within his own Liberal Party — to drop Ms. Deves since tweets that had been deleted from her account resurfaced, including the original comment about transition surgery. In another tweet, she compared her campaign to ban trans women from women’s sports to standing up against the Holocaust.

Mr. Morrison has dismissed the reaction to Ms. Deves’s comments as cancel culture, and in an election season that’s been light on policy and heavy on spectacle, the issue has spawned furious commentary and countless headlines.

For many, the tone and the arguments feel very, well, American. It seems as though a conservative conversation in the United States has been exported to Australia. Or is this something that reflects Australia’s own political urges or unresolved divides?

It’s not the first time that culture war and identity issues have formed part of an Australian election campaign. But this time feels particularly ugly, both because of the topics being debated and the vitriolic language being used.

“I think it’s more personal, intrusive, and I think hurtful for those who are caught up in it,” said John Warhurst, an emeritus professor of politics at the Australian National University.

He said it seemed to be an example of overlap with American culture. “We’ve had earlier political debates about political correctness and wokeness,” Professor Warhurst said. “Those generally arise in the U.S. and are picked up in Australia by those who use them for their advantage.”

Political analysts say Mr. Morrison seems to be hoping that Ms. Deves’s views will resonate with religious voters in rural areas, in districts that the coalition needs to win on May 21, 2022,  even if some moderate Liberal seats have to be sacrificed.

But will it work? According to Paul Williams, a political analyst and associate professor at Griffith University, the issue of transgender rights doesn’t resonate in Australia the way it does in the United States.

“You can see culture wars is at the heart of American politics,” he said. “I don’t think we’re at that point in Australia.”

“Middle Australia seems to be a fairly reasonable electorate,” he added. With economic concerns at the forefront of people’s minds, issues like trans women’s participation in sports are hardly a priority.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t voters who view politics through the prism of pro- and anti-political correctness. But do they amount to a critical mass? No, Professor Williams said. And would the trans rights issue decide their votes? Probably not, he added.

But he’s concerned about the future. This campaign has been particularly “presidential,” he said — driven by leaders’ personalities, not parties’ policies. It has also been marked by the “atomization” of news coverage, with different outlets constructing different realities for different constituencies, and by the weaponization of issues like trans rights, he said.

He fears that “Australia will become not just polarised but as irrational as post-Obama America, where the old adage that you’re entitled to your own opinion but you’re not entitled to your own facts has been completely thrown out the window.”

“This idea of win at all costs, win on ethos and pathos, feeling and character — or at least perception of character — but not on facts, is a terribly slippery road to go down,” Professor Williams said.


And this is the beginning of the last feature:

Is travel making a comeback?

As travel restrictions and health concerns abate in some parts of the world, lines are getting longer at departure gates. Though this shift is a positive development for airlines, which saw a 60 percent dip in revenue in 2020, air travel and tourism are not expected to return to 2019 levels before 2024. What’s next for the industry? Check out these insights to understand how traveler preferences have evolved since the onset of the pandemic, what the latest trends mean for industry players, and more, including:

  • why sustainability is becoming a deciding factor on where and how to travel
  • how US airports can broaden their revenue sources
  • how popular destinations can make a comeback

Opportunities for industry leaders as new travelers take to the skies

Outlook for China tourism in 2022: Trends to watch in uncertain times

A travel boom is looming. But is the industry ready?

Rebooting customer experience to bring back the magic of travel

Turning on the revenue tap: How US airports could make the most of additional liquidity

The comeback of corporate travel: How should companies be planning?

What will it take to go from ‘travel shock’ to surge?

New York: A concrete jungle where dreams are still made

Reimagining travel: Thailand tourism after the COVID-19 pandemic



Newsletter of last Week

Navigating America’s net-zero frontier: A guide for business leaders

The highlights of last week’s NEWS, for your convenience, just click on the feature to read.


RadiciGroup closes 2021 with positive results. Continued focus on sizeable investments in innovation and sustainability


ACIMIT renews its Corporate Identity with a new Logo and Website


Warhol’s ‘Marilyn,’ at USD 195 Million, Shatters Auction Record for an American Artist

Augmented Reality

What It Will Take for Augmented Reality to Become Our Reality


You Need Two-Factor Authentication, but Some Types Are Safer Than Others


BASF and BMW Group rely on renewable raw materials for automotive coatings

Black Hole

Image of Black Hole at Center of Our Milky Way Galaxy Is Captured for First Time


How bio-contributing materials are giving back to nature


Coach owner Tapestry predicts China troubles will start to ease in June


Microsoft Expands Its Range of Accessible Accessories

Consumer Protection

Consumer protection: EU Commission adopts stronger consumer rules for online financial services


Peer review report on Sweden now online

How do we manage waste in the EU?

Swiss Producer and Import Price Index rose by 1.3 % in April 2022

EU Peer review report on Germany now online

Cybercrime: new Council of Europe rules for cooperation at international level

Unmet EU demand for employment falls to 14 % in 2021

Science and technology fields welcome more women

EU Excess mortality down to 6 % in March 2022

The McKinsey Week in Charts

Digital Finance

Digital Finance: EU Commission welcomes political agreement on the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA)


MESDAN® S.p.A., the Italy-based leading manufacturer of YARN JOINING SOLUTIONS and LABORATORY TESTING EQUIPMENT will be again in the spotlight at two important forthcoming events

Freudenberg Experts meet Sustainability

Karl Mayer at ITM: Finally coming together again


EU President von der Leyen in Japan for the EU-Japan Summit

Corporate taxation: Commission proposes tax incentive for equity to help companies grow, become stronger and more resilient

Child rights: Preventing and combatting child sexual abuse online and a European strategy for a Better Internet for Kids

Press statement by EU President von der Leyen following the EU-Japan Summit


Five from Finland: Technical textile innovations


Innovation packages from STOLL – a company of the KARL MAYER Group

Onsite PV backsheet checks at the push of a button: trinamiX launches handheld NIR solution for fast material identification

More safety, better health: Basotect® as sound absorber in innovative air filters

BASF – New colour-stable polyamide for electromobility

Intellectual Property

WIPO: Madrid Case Study Highlight: Kao Group –  Household Products and Cosmetics to Enrich a Sustainable Lifestyle

Pulitzer Prize

Pulitzer Prizes Spotlight Jan. 6 Capitol Riot and Mideast Air Wars Coverage


EU trade in recyclable raw materials is on the rise


PSI:Visiting the researchers


Seminar in Information Security & Cryptography Zurich Switzerland, (June 8−10, 2022)


A Deposit Rate Shopping Spree Might Be Kicking Off

Lisa Cook Wins Senate Confirmation to Federal Reserve

Elon Musk says he would ‘reverse the permanent ban’ of Donald Trump on Twitter


Bangladeshi Sustainable Apparel Forum (Ska to Accelerate Apparel Sustainability in Post-Covid


Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová to pay state visit to Switzerland


WTO Members welcome Quad document as basis for text-based negotiations on pandemic IP response

“This might well be our Bretton Woods moment. Let’s not waste it.” — DDG Ellard