Digital fashion stores, 3D garment design tools, or virtual sampling may seem like the latest concepts to many. However, the use of technology to innovate new fashion possibilities started at least a decade ago. In the years 2007 and 2008, designers like Christopher de Vos, Peter Pilotto, and Mary Katrantzaou (a Greek designer) made it to the limelight for challenging the conventional fashion norms with their digital experimentation. Van Herpen was another renowned designer who became a trailblazer back then for using 3D printing and laser technology for high-end couture construction.
Over the last year, many brands have associated themselves with advanced digital tools like 3D garment design software, virtual sampling, virtual showrooms, AR/VR, and much more.
From generating a 3D garment design to virtual prototyping, and running entire virtual collection runways, everything is possible today. Technology is not only being used for the front-end for consumer interaction but also being implemented within the fashion supply chain. The idea is not only to produce effectively but to digitalize the entire supply chain to make the industry more sustainable using zero-waste design and sampling procedures.
Why Should Designers Ditch Traditional Garment Design?
For the last few years, consumers have been opting to consume fast fashion. Brands have been going the extra mile to produce as many as 42 collections a year. Now the idea behind fast-fashion may seem like rapidly changing trends resulting from high-speed mass production. However, the reality is the complete opposite. The majority of the brands are still struggling to escalate their design and production processes to meet the market demands.
This happens because, for a single design, at least 40 to 50 prototypes are generated manually by designers. Most of which do not even make it to the final collection. Once the collection is finalized, designers are required to scale their designs in different sizes, generate patterns and ship them across to manufacturing units to get the first samples ready. This whole process can take up to a month or more in case desired results are not achieved.
Other than that, designers have to develop numerous fit samples for their designs before proceeding with mass production. To produce these physical samples, they have to incur various expenditures such as costs of sourcing raw material, manufacturing costs, and shipping charges. In case of any alterations required, resampling can straightaway double their sampling expenditure and time. This is where 3D garment design software comes in and transforms the whole design-to-production process, saving both time and money. Let’s dig into a broader implementation of these benefits offered by 3D design.
Cutting Down Sampling Costs
The fashion industry spends $6 to $8 billion every year on physical sampling alone. As we know design sketches cannot be used as a valuable input for mass production, sampling becomes an integral part of apparel production. With 3D garment design, designers can eliminate the need to produce physical samples by 50%. They can opt for digital sampling, which allows them to virtually analyze the fit and flow of the fabric on a human body and make easy iterations.
3D designs can give them an overview of their final product without having to go through the rigorous sampling cycle. Besides, they can make easy alterations in no time and develop multiple prototypes for a single design in different colors, fabrics, and trims. It also allows them to develop and design apparel for different body types without requiring a physical model. They can generate realistic samples within hours and increase their productivity.
3D Garment Design Is Time-Effective
Do you know 70% of the design prototypes don’t even make it to the collection? Yet designers spend weeks on those designs and fit samples. With 3D garment design technology, they can cut down their sampling time by 40 to 60 percent. They only have to create the physical samples for the garments that are approved and ready for mass production. Designers using 3D technology have experienced a 4 times increase in their productivity. This not only reduces their market turnaround time but also allows them to scale their production.
Technology In Fashion & Sustainability
Consumerism today is not about making purchase decisions based on price and quality anymore. Recently, surveys have shown that consumer’s buying patterns are changing as they are becoming more aware and informed. They are looking for sustainable products and brands. This is also the reason why many brands are now opting for green alternatives to design and develop their garments. 3D garment design allows them to design and manufacture samples with zero-waste production and also reduces the scope of wrongful sampling.
Designers can produce better garments designs and share them with manufacturers across the globe without having to ship them. This helps them reduce their global carbon footprint and optimizes their design operations as well.
Digitalization is here, and we believe in transforming the conventional design processes with AI technology. We have introduced a line of digital solutions that are creative, efficient, and environment-friendly. Our 3D studio offers digital product design and development tools that can make the digital transition seamless for our clients.