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Online shopping for clothing offers consumers convenience but comes with some notable downsides for them and the environment. Size and fit issues often prompt consumers to return the items, which leads to increased carbon costs.

New body-mapping technology developed in the College of Human Ecology’s Department of Human Centered Design (HCD) aims to solve those problems, by improving garment design and fit, while helping customers choose the right size for their unique shape.

“Women typically buy two or three sizes of the same garment, intending to keep one and send the rest back,” said Jie Pei, M.A. ’16, Ph.D. ’20, who developed the technology for her dissertation in the field of fiber science and apparel design. “Originally I thought, ‘Well, it’s not a waste, because they’re sending stuff back.’ But the problem is, most of the time, it’s more expensive for companies to put those products back into storage, so those returns end up in a landfill. And that’s a huge waste.”

Learn more about this new technology here: New 3D Body-Mapping Tech Helps Consumers, the Environment.