When I was studying architecture in Delft and working on my first job over 20 years ago, I remember starting to use AutoCAD software. It’s like turning on a light. Although 2D software has been around since 1982, most drawing is still done by hand. Soon, computer-aided design will change the industry forever, and paradoxically, it will lead to more creativity, not less.
I’ve often thought about that pivotal moment over the years as I headed a software company that was helping digitize the fashion industry.Today, despite 2D or 3D platforms such as CLOs or browser, Many fashion designers continue to opt for manual work, as did early architectural work, when the intrinsic appeal of the artist was still strong enough to turn some away from the latest technology.
But the fashion industry is at a turning point.One has been waiting to emerge below the surface but has recently been Metaverse and Web3. While these technologies are exciting and sure to have an impact, like Epic’s 3D advancements unreal engine All the while, they haven’t been able to make the clout they need in the fashion industry Pollution and CO2 damage It cannot be denied that the environment gets worse every year. This damage can now be best mitigated by holistic changes involving core (perhaps not-so-sexy) systems in the value chain from design to manufacturing and marketing to sales. Eventually, it will end with a full 3D conversion.
So, why is it taking so long? Since I started working with several of the top 100 brands, I’ve been confronted with the maturity of how much transformation they’ve achieved. These levels can be broken down from 0 to 3, with level zero being “slackers” who have not adopted 3D design tools or using 3D fabrication services, and level three being “frontrunners” who have used one or more types of 3D designs past and present using 3D designs Tools for internal decision-making and expand 3D design tools by at least one category or business unit. Most companies I’ve seen fall somewhere in between these two extremes.
Indeed, scaling to a full 3D workflow is not easy, and brands face some significant challenges as they attempt to become more digitally mature. Take hardware as an example. No matter how you look at it, 3D authoring and visualization requires more processing power than creating PowerPoint. I’ve seen some brands of heavy PowerPoint files that they call “PowerPoint on steroids”, but the processing power required to manage 3D is much more.
For those brands that can produce enough 3D assets, they face a pipeline problem. Assigning a team to develop standards and ways of working is the most important decision they need to make when starting to build a 3D workflow. This may seem easy, but there are many options at this stage. The ideal person or team understands the brand’s business and goals, has a solid understanding of 3D technology, knows how to design a production process, and how to run a team. It’s no surprise that it’s difficult, but companies need to be prepared and ready to take on these challenges.
Still, when I look at the latest generation of fashion designers, I’m delighted to realize how much they care about the environment in their work.Their ability to keep the big picture of the industry in mind while practicing their skills is inspiring and gives me hope that the actions that need to be taken at a fundamental level within companies are on the way and they can and will realize what digital can bring to the environment benefits such as Less sampling waste, less CO2 emissions and less pollution.
Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done. A key step, however, is understanding that the real change needed to achieve the SDGs won’t happen unless industry leaders take a closer look at the less image-driven areas of their business and invest, at least in those areas, with them. Just as much money does in metaverse drama or social media influencers. As they say, nothing worth having is easy. Once the heavy lifting is done, I’m sure the changes will bring more creativity and capability to the industry than anyone could have imagined.
Written by Martin Van Doren.
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