On demand fashion manufacturing: the way of the future?

From fast, mass produced fashion, to customized clothing produced one by one on demand. Well, the shift haven’t actually happened yet, but the idea is definitely starting to get traction, as Vogue Business reports. So what is it all about? This is the thing:
With on demand manufacturing, a brand can produce only what is actually likely to be sold, which reduces overproduction. It also allows for some personalization which makes a better fit for the customer, thereby reducing the risk of the item being discarded.
And now several startups are trying this out. A few Swedish players that have already been doing this for a while, is Stockholm-based Studio Heijne who offers a number of ready designs that can then be customized and produced to the buyer’s needs and preferences. Gothenburg-based Atacac takes a more digital approach, as their garments exist digitally only until they’re sold and only after that are sent to production.
In San Francisco, Topology makes custom eye wear, using an Augmented Reality app to make a 3D model of the customer’s face on which they can preview how a pair of glasses would look and then sculpt one at a time. Ministry of Supply from Boston and Florida brand Variant Malibu on their hand, make on demand 3D-printed knitwear.
Rachael Stott of The Future Laboratory, says a on demand model has the benefit of opening up a dialogue between a company and its consumers. This I think, really takes away the guessing part for companies, making it easier to give their customers what they actually want.
It’ll be interesting to see how this will develop over the next few years, in the wake of other shifts that are happening in this area right now – like for instance the rise in clothing rental, second hand, and digital clothing, that have the potential to change how we look at fashion, clothes and consumption as a concept.


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