3D technology is a business and design enabler, and with the right tools in place you can improve lead time in today's age of instant gratification, efficiency where many brands are searching for ways to be more profitable, sustainability – a global agenda, and bringing it back to the consumer by enabling them to engage with the design process. However, many apparel brands haven’t embarked on the journey yet.
With that in mind, here are 5 tips to help you along your journey:
1: Think big, start small
ROI can be huge for your brand but proving this theory to the board can be tricky. Get the proof in the pudding by trialling your 3D technology in one area to prove its ROI, then branch out to other departments / products.
2: Dispel myths
During a panel discussion at PI Apparel, Sharon Lim, CEO of Browzwear says "People think in 3D - that’s the truth. Designers think in 3D”, yet many are still cautious of embarking on a 3D journey, with the view that designers are scared of tech. The system you select just needs to be transparent and easy to use.
3: 3D can be cheap & cheerful
If you are short on budget you can still jump on board - 3D doesn’t have to underpin your end-to-end strategy. A cheap and cheerful way to use it is as a design tool. You can still save time, and be more sustainable, and if / when you are ready to expand, you can do so with the foundational experience.
4: Don’t get flustered
A new way of working isn't always going to go to plan. Walmart shared their 3D journey at PI Apparel, and one piece of advice that Director of Technical Design, Denise Scott, gives is “You’re not necessarily going to use [3D] in the way you started out thinking you would use it”. Be fluid, and flexible and use self assessment to know what's working and what you should change.
5: Invest in retail
According to PI Apparel chairman Craig Crawford, the biggest area of investment for the future will be retail, and bringing the experience to the consumer.
I do think we will find investments across the board both in manufacturing and in retail, but I also think we are going to see investment from consumers who are going to be exploring the world in a more 3D way. Take home furnishings for example, if you’re able to scan your room very easily with a device the size of your phone, then when you go shopping for furniture you’ll know what fits – you’ll be able to put it in situ and understand it. Why not something similar in fashion?”