Retail

The Amplification of 3D Technology in the Fashion Industry

Recently, I have noticed a greater demand for talent with specialist expertise and experience within 3D Technology software from my clients. The most sought-after skills were technical design, product development, and sourcing. Currently, companies are yet to put enough investment into developing in-house 3D tools, therefore there has been a shortage of candidates and individuals with the specific desired skillset.

The growth in 3D technology has allowed for greater customization and enforcement of sustainable practices – particularly 3D, or virtual sampling within the Fashion industry. For instance, body shapes and sizes differ significantly between different countries and continents, which is where 3D fitting technology comes into play.

After screening and storing numerous body shapes and sizes into the software, the system is able to analyse and find the best fitting garments based on specific measurements and body types. The ability to do so will thus tackle the issue of inconsistency of clothing sizes, as currently, the majority of apparel and clothing companies offer a limited range of sizes.

With regards to sustainability, research by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change estimated a total production of greenhouse gases within the Textiles industry to be 1.2bn tonnes per year, which is more than that emitted by air travel and maritime shipping combined.

Sustainability – particularly within larger corporations – has always been a hot topic. By utilising 3D sampling, the production of physical samples can be kept to a minimum, as well as the energy and cost to transport them. Additionally, any amendments of the product can be completed during the product development stage digitally. The ability to do so cuts down costs and increases efficiency, as the design can be amended instantly without having to send physical samples back and forth between manufacturers and designers.

Within the industry, a few apparel giants have pledged to use 100% 3D apparel design before 2022, to showcase their Spring collections. To reinforce this, they have invested in establishing in-house training academies to provide professionals with the relevant tools to thrive in the new tech age within Fashion.

The talent pool for 3D technology is sparse, and thus I expect that a talent war for experts within the field will come into fruition. In order to keep up with the market changes and demands, having experience and learning more about 3D software tools – such as Optitex, CLO, and Browzwear, is now compulsory in the curriculum for Bachelor’s degrees in Fashion and Textiles.

Additionally, there are short courses that specialise in 3D technology, designed to allow talent to add to their current skillset with experience and knowledge within that specialism. The talent war will likely become more prominent with regards to 3D tech – particularly within Fashion – over the next decade, and I am looking forward to seeing what this trend holds for the supply chain world!

References:
Fashion United | Fashion tech education is a main trend for 2020
Pixel Pool | 3D Technology

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