By Amina Yagoubi, Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay
We conducted a qualitative research, based on interviews in the area of smart clothing and wearables. Our research question concerns the conditions for the emergence of an ecosystem of digital and technological innovation, gathering a group of actors from different backgrounds, both private and public, for the development of wearables and smart clothes, a new niche that offers opportunities for innovation in the fashion industry. We have observed that this is done on the basis of collaboration between sectors and industries that traditionally do not work together, but were encouraged to do so, by the public agencies’ programs. This cross-fertilization between IT, textile and clothing responds to new needs in fields such as health care, aerospace, welfare, safety, sport, gerontology, etc. on growth markets. If companies do not all seem familiar with the programs, they nevertheless recognize the critical importance of exchanges, collaborations, cross-fertilization between the IT and apparel-fashion sectors.