El Corte Inglés has designed its first 3D fashion collection, increasing the efficiency and sustainability of fashion collections.
New technologies have reached all sectors to transform the way in which work has been done to date. The fashion industry has also had to adapt to the new needs of the market and many companies have sought to obtain a competitive advantage with the use of 3D tools that can be used for design, production or even sales. An example of this, El Corte Inglés has developed a pilot project for 3D design in fashion in order to increase the efficiency and sustainability of its collections. The implementation of this technology achieves this goal by shortening development and production times for garments, reducing the number of stocks, saving costs, opening up new possibilities for loyalty and enabling new business models.
What is 3D design?
When designing a collection, traditionally a design is created and sent to a supplier to make the sample. Once manufactured, it is reviewed again, where it may undergo some variation and the process would begin again. This can happen multiple times. This process requires time and investment. There are different tools that create a virtual space where patterns are designed. This environment has the ability to save the time and money required for sample changes and rectifications.
The first garments of the pilot project that El Corte Inglés has designed in 3D correspond to the spring/summer collection. Among the benefits that the company estimates to achieve is a 50% reduction in samples, a reduction of 15 days in the time it takes for the collection approval process and that the teams that carry out the promotion at the point of sale (window dressing, posters…) can intervene two months in advance. To carry out this project, the company has formed an ad hoc team that has been in charge of the 3D design of the product line in men’s, women’s and children’s fashion. A multidisciplinary team has been involved in this process made up of designers, pattern makers, technological designers, graphics, manufacturers and e-commerce.
This system generates a bidirectional loyalty since the creative team can count on the client’s opinion throughout the process, before the collection is manufactured. Through social networks, you can check the acceptance of a garment or make a pre-sale to analyze the feedback and adapt the creation of the collections according to the success achieved. This allows production to be adjusted based on the results.
This technological/creative development optimizes the efforts of creative teams, achieves greater collection efficiency by digitizing and standardizing processes, and simplifies production validation. All this results in improvements in sustainability, efficiency, in the product and in sales.
In addition to the economic benefits of 3D design, we must not fail to pay attention to the positive impact it has on the planet. This process generates digitized communication between departments and with suppliers. It also favors the collaborative design process without the need to be in the same physical space. This causes the validation, approval and purchase processes to be carried out online. The transfer of all these processes to the digital environment reduces transport trips, which means a reduction in CO emissionstwo.
It is increasingly common for consumers to take materials, recycling or waste into account when purchasing a product or service. Sustainability is gaining ground. According to a study carried out by the consulting firm Simon Kucher, 4% of Spanish consumers prefer to buy sustainable fashion, compared to 8% of luxury, 33% of fast fashion and 21% low cost fashion. However, 78% of consumers reveal that the eco characteristics of a garment could influence their purchasing decisions.
Although there is still a long way to go, 3D design is one of the processes aimed at sustainability. Thanks to this technology, the design teams will create 3D digitized fabric textures, which will form part of digitized fabric libraries with sustainable, reusable and traceable attributes.
The possibilities of 3D design in the El Corte Inglés project
Training in 3D design
The future of fashion involves betting on digital transformation with technologies such as 3D design, 3D printing or even augmented reality to be able to see the garments from home and without physically touching them. But to make the fashion industry more sustainable, it is necessary to bet on training in fashion schools to provide future workers in this sector with the necessary tools to carry it out.
3D design opens up wide possibilities for adding new fashion tools such as a virtual photo studio, virtual styling, virtual shop windows, or augmented and virtual reality, among others.