As a designer within the industry we often made sample after sample tweak after tweak over many weeks and months of design and development. I am used to creating in this way, yet it never seemed to sit with me, creating collection after collection 40% of which would get dropped and have had us all work on it both in terms of design and processing through to each factory spending time and most importantly money for either the brand or the factory.
To then have a collection where we would make an informed choice with regards to how many of each we would produce based on what the customer brought into the year before and what the catwalk or trend analysis would be dictating was the future. With varying skill sets in this prediction it meant that you often had lots of deadstock left in your warehouse for years or indeed it might be incinerated.
What if the future involved the consumer? In a new digital future we will do away with having to have the laborious sample procedure and consumers will be able to choose from a digital avatar. Garment Tech and designer working hand in hand to make sure that it fits and is the right style Virtually before any PO is placed. My partners garment tech say that you very much still need the skills of these experts - it will not take over the designers’ role - just enhance it and also somewhat reduce the frustration of creating something only to have it dropped. What excites me most about it is that the consumer can vote on what they would like to be produced - reducing the need for over production and also over-spend on goods that are not really wanted in the first place.
Indeed, in this world of personalisation we can as consumers make bespoke items this way to our very unique body shape. When it comes to the physical we still will need pattern makers and will still have to sample or toile - yet it can be pretty accurate given that we know what information we are adding in the first place.
The technology is there - only the will and the most practical application of this is needed. Actually you can start this now and test it in your world - and it doesn't cost you much. I can bring the teams needed for this journey and share how to integrate this into your business as part of your strategy for the future. Tech isn't the full answer but I see that it is very much a tool to be mastered and used sustainably.
As a designer I am very happy to let go of the excel sheet and technical specs done in that way and enjoy the idea of creating with accurate measurements.
To learn more about what I do check out my pages or connect with me on firstname.lastname@example.org I’m always open for a conversation starter and to discuss what we can create for your sustainable and equitable future.