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Fashion on demand is becoming a reality

By Regina Henkel


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Until now, custom-made production on an industrial scale has not been possible and thus, has been uneconomical for most fashion companies. This has since changed. Numerous international startups have been launched in recent years with exactly this idea, thanks to new technologies available today.

Personalisation is a huge trend

While the fashion industry previously mainly considered a product point of view, the realisation is slowly gaining ground that the consumer with his or her increasingly difficult to predict needs and desires should be placed in the center of all considerations. Personalisation is a huge trend that can now be implemented increasingly better with the help of digital technologies. All major technology companies coming from CAD development such as Lectra or Assyst are now working on industry 4.0 solutions, which help digitise and at least partially automate production, from design to cutting to sewing. This saves companies time and personnel and promises to work cost-efficiently even in a batch size of one.

Lectra launches complete solution for personalising fashion

French technology company Lectra has just announced the launch of a new complete solution for fashion on demand. The solution automates the entire personalisation process, from product development to final cutting. Two packages are offered: One for matching the sample of the customisation (Made-to-Measure) and the other for changing the product characteristics to personalisation (customisation). Depending on the package, companies can determine the criteria and scope of product customisation for each product, manage individual requirements and immediately start production processes without compromising their standard processes. This way, companies will be able to expand their product range in the future and offer more choices in women's, men's and children's clothing. Lectra's Fashion on Demand offer is the result of a four-year research and development process, involving a team of over 100 experts. According to the company, the global market launch of the personalisation services will start gradually from January 2019.

New brands emerge with personalised ranges

The last two years have brought out a whole series of new brands that have placed personalisation at the core of their business model. They all differ somewhat in the way they approach customisation: There are brands such as Zozo and Red Thread that use mobile technologies to create a 3D body scan for garments with a perfect fit. US denim label Unspun also belongs to this category. Others, such as Sene, Careste and Suit Kits, use a combination of customer feedback, digital data and algorithms to generate customised products.

Customisation improves sustainability in the industry

When it comes to new technologies, one does not immediately think about sustainability. But this is precisely what can be achieved with individual customisation. Because it is a fact that more often than not, fashion companies are wrong when it comes to predicting what consumers want. It is no coincidence that the business of second and third recyclers of unsold seasonal goods is booming or that surplus stock is even destroyed. There is so much product in the market that apparently no one wants that we do not know what to do with it. Fashion on demand would mean only producing what has been ordered. This does not mean that individual, per-capita consumption would decrease but that this insane, capital- and resource-devouring overproduction could be avoided.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited DE. Translated and edited by Simone Preuss.

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Photo: Zozo.com / Unspun

Fashion On Demand