How Nigerian Tech Company Fitted is leading the way in Fashion Tech Innovation using 3D Models
Earlier this year, Shopify announced native support for 3D models and video in its online stores. It's been an exciting development for fashion tech companies like Fitted, which are displaying clothing styles in 3D interactive formats.
As an agency partner, we worked with Fitted to develop a workflow which integrates 3D modelling in the design and production process. In this article, we share some practical tips from Jola Adeniyi, a 3D modeler at Fitted on how to incorporate 3D models in your fashion business.
How to Design and Prototype with 3D Models
The traditional methods of designing a collection involve making multiple samples by hand with fabric and materials before producing the final collection.
“3D modelling in fashion design enables you simulate the garments that you want to produce using software. With 3D modelling you can simplify this process of design and development digitally, before proceeding to production,” explains Jola.
In practice, it’s much simpler than it sounds. If you wanted to include 3D software in your business model, once you're done with sketching, the sampling process is done digitally. The best part is that the 3D software allows you to create patterns as you would traditionally and then see how your design works on the human body.
This way, you can manipulate the 3D models to fit your target customers. So, if you're working with middle-sized, small, medium and large, you can simulate your designs around them.
To create a design, you create the patterns and then sample them on your model. This allows you to see if the design works or not. By managing the sampling process digitally, designers can eliminate any uncertainty of how the end product would look.
With these innovations in 3D modelling, fashion brands can experiment with and present their entire collection to the world without even wasting fabric or materials. The best part? If you’re not completely satisfied you can always go back to the drawing board and develop your designs further and produce them based on the orders that you have.
Impacting Waste with Zero-Inventory Production Models
Not every business has the pre-order model, so they begin production, resulting in a lot of wastage when they’re not sold. 3D modelling is a great way to eliminate waste from the production process. During the design, development and sampling process, prototypes are made, to check what works and what doesn't. This effectively eliminates 80% of the waste that would normally be generated. In fact, Fitted’s latest collection in progress doesn't have any physical samples yet meaning there’s almost no waste.
Fashion has long been called out for its waste generation right from cutting to the design process. Brands make samples and then decide then discard them in response to rapidly changing market trends.
3D modelling eliminates the actual production waste and reduces costs. With no way to gauge the demand for your garment, it’s easy to create things that people don't want.
By using 3D software in tandem with retail preorder, the fashion industry can become infinitely more sustainable. This also saves time because what takes two to three months, can be produced in one. With a zero inventory model or retail pre-order, garment ideas can be presented to the public and then be produced based on the demand.
With people not being able to work together due to COVID-19, fashion production had come to a halt but 3D models solve this problem as well. Fitted has adopted the 3D model and despite COVID-19 production hasn't stopped. The beauty of 3D modelling is that there's almost no difference when you compare the 3D samples and the physical samples.
When it comes to sizing, brands can automatically integrate it into the software which lets you do an automatic grading where you can have three different models and grade them according to that.
Brands like Tommy Hilfiger have already committed to going the 3D modelling way by 2023 pointing to its scalability. It’s the future of fashion, especially now with COVID-19 where shopping from 3D models gives people a better alternative than going outside.