Browzwear, a pioneer of 3D digital solutions for the fashion industry, and featuring LIMITED, the product innovation arm of global sourcing services provider Otto International, have announced the opening of 3D product development sharing and training centers in Dongguan, China and Dhaka, Bangladesh. The facilities, called Digi-hubs, will provide invaluable upskilling and peer-to-peer sharing to the garment industry in both manufacturing-heavy regions which have been hit hard by the pandemic.
The Digi-hubs will enable employees of manufacturers and suppliers as well as designers, pattern-makers, technical designers and others to become proficient in the latest 3D technology and its application to product design and development.
In the past few years Browzwear has established a growing presence in fashion schools, and in November Browzwear’s Chief Commercial Officer Lena Lim explained to FashionUnited the importance of its connection to education: “The next generation of bright minds are what will enable digital transformation to bring about a more agile and sustainable fashion industry. We cannot transform without new skill sets and a new mindset, which is why it is crucial that we partner with schools and be a driving force for the next era of fashion and design.”
Clearly the company is expanding its vision beyond emerging graduates to emerging markets. The objective of the hubs in China and Bangladesh is to accelerate large-scale digital transformation in the industry, which will, in turn, create efficiencies, reduce waste and increase sustainability.
New “Digi-hubs” offer digital upskilling to garment professionals in regions hard hit by pandemic
Participants of the program will gain hands-on experience working with Browzwear’s VStitcher, a leading 3D platform used throughout the industry. In addition to building 3D prototyping skills, the hubs will also feature fabric digitization that includes Browzwear’s Fabric Analyzer and Vizoo’s scanning system, which translate the physical properties and textures of textiles, respectively, enabling true-to-life 3D simulation and rendering.
“The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light many of the inequities in the global apparel supply chain while showcasing the importance of digital transformation for the entire industry,” Sharon Lim, Co-Founder & CEO of Browzwear, tells FashionUnited. “We are incredibly proud to be part of the solution that empowers both businesses and professionals, particularly in regions where the inequities have had an outsized impact.”
Driving processes from rapid fitting and grading to tech packs and everything needed to create the physical garment is Browzwear’s expertise and why they count among their more than 650 clients globally Columbia Sportswear, PVH Group and VF Corporation. Browzwear’s partner in the venture, featuring LIMITED, provides fully customized 3D digital product development services, and offers solutions in the sourcing process, as well as virtual design, quality inspection and shipping. General Manager, Katharina Bobrowski, shares Lim’s values and views on the future of fashion, “As technology continues to disrupt the apparel industry, it’s imperative we build a system with equal opportunity for all to succeed.”
”Ultimately, Browzwear’s goal is to bring together all of the tools and technologies that apparel businesses need to make every process from concept to commerce more efficient,” says Lim. She believes the partnership with Otto International is just another step in the company’s goal of being a leader of positive change in the industry, and that shared learning is the way of the future. “While Dhaka and Dongguan are the first hubs to open, they certainly won’t be the last. We are exploring additional manufacturing-dominant areas in Vietnam and Indonesia, where increased digitization can have a transformative impact on business, the environment and people’s lives.”
Karina Ochoa is a Browzwear user and 3D apparel designer who started her career in Columbia where she says most of the process is still done in the traditional 2D way. “There were always mistakes from miscommunication, even though we were speaking the same language as the pattern makers and factories, and even the simplest garment required multiple samples. And each one could take up to a month to receive.” After moving to the US to study at NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology, she was introduced to Browzwear and found it changed everything. “For businesses that will now have access to 3D-trained workers, they can make incredible changes in their processes. Faster, with fewer errors and far less waste, it will enable them to remain competitive while lessening their impact on the environment and improving the lives of their communities.”
Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry