At the start of a new academic year, the students will already be looking forward to the end of the year. In a year in which they finish one school and move on, they might already be looking forward to getting a leavers hoodie.
But what about looking forward a few years—what will a leavers hoodie look like in, say, 20 years? Assuming you are a student just coming to the end of your time at school in 2041 what can you expect your leaver’s garment to look like? What will it do?
Firstly, school, and the education system in total, is likely to be in the midst of significant change in 2041. The structure of the education system will not be the same as it is currently. Pupils/students probably won’t be spending 5 days a week in a classroom, or at least not the same one. If nothing else, the Covid19 pandemic has shown that other viable options could be used to augment the creaking education system in the UK.
There may be other changes too. All pupils might not travel through the system at the same speed. So an entire year’s cohort might not finish school at the same time. So a leavers hoodie for those leaving school in 2041 won’t have the names of 18-year-olds on the back it will have the names of those finishing school at that time.
The leavers’ hoodie, in its current form, hasn’t been around for 20 years yet. And it won’t make it to 2041 in anything like the current style or materials. In science fiction, the clothing of the future is always vastly different in materials and styles. Changes are happening today which make new garment styles and materials a certainty for 20 in the future. The changes include increasing awareness of man-made climate change, advances in materials technology and improving battery capabilities.
It isn’t a stretch to say that in 20 years from now a hoodie made from a polyester/cotton mixture, as today’s hoodies are, won’t still exist. Except maybe in the bottom of the wardrobe of the parents of the 2041 school graduates.
So, our prediction for the 2041 Leavers Garments of Choice is:
- Made from 100% recycled fibres and be 100% recyclable themselves
- Intelligent – printing and embroidery will no longer be the processes by which school crests, names or nicknames are added to the garments. They will be adaptable and editable by the wearer using whatever device replaces the mobile phone.
- They will contain technology to manage body temperature so material thickness/weight isn’t going to be a factor in their design.
- Because there is no batch processing required to decorate the garments there won’t be a need for all of the garments for a particular leavers group to be the same design, style or even garment. So some pupils could have a short sleeve garment (like today’s leavers’ t-shirt) others will have a long-sleeved garment (a modernised version of today’s hoodies). Some might have a cap and others opt for trousers or shoes.
Leavers Garments for the rest of us in 2041
But, and it is a big but, the garments outlined above will be the garments of choice for those pupils who have lots of money to spend. The intelligent garment option won’t be the norm for all clothing.
For the majority of school leavers, on a tighter budget, it is possible that garments similar in functionality to today’s (without intelligence) will still be around in some form and need decorating in batches as today’s garments do.
Decoration technologies will certainly have progressed and the ability to do smaller batches cost-effectively, with a wider variety of designs and information, will make personalisation even more personal.