Key Takeaways:

  • 3D and digital product creation (DPC) are top of the technology investment agenda for brands, retailers, and manufacturers.
  • Key outcomes driving 3D adoption are speed, sustainability, collaboration, and the promise of a single, end-to-end, digital workflow.
  • The biggest names in fashion, footwear, and accessories, as well as smaller, agile brands and independent designers are making the transition.
  • The 3D / DPC technology market has scaled to a stage where it is approaching the size of other enterprise technology segments.
  • Integrating multiple pieces of that technology ecosystem is a proven route to short and long-term digital transformation.
  • Technology implementation and integration must be accompanied by extensive cultural change. Continuous learning will be critical to success.

After a multi-decade journey of technology maturity and mindset evolution, 3D design and the broader workflows and technology ecosystems of digital product creation (DPC) are fundamentally changing the way fashion operates.

In the first in a two-part series on foundational fashion technology, from SOURCING at MAGIC and The Interline, this new guide reveals the journey fashion has taken to full 3D maturity, explains why the benefits of digital workflows are so compelling, and sets out roadmaps for how different organisations can take advantage of the possibilities today.

Read the guide here, to learn about the rise of 3D technology in fashion, the potential benefits it could bring to your business, and how a combination of continuous learning and process evolution will allow you to capitalise on the possibilities of this comprehensive change.

Or read on for a short summary of how 3D and digital product creation became one of fashion’s biggest technology markets, at the same time as supporting a wide spectrum of creators and makers across every stage of the fashion value chain:

  • With the COVID-19 pandemic stalling the creation of physical prototypes and samples, brands found themselves pivoting to create digital prototypes, greatly accelerating the adoption of 3D technology across the fashion industry. Behind that explosive transition has been a multi-decade journey of process innovation, technology evolution and democratisation, which has led the fashion industry to a genuine inflection point in 3D adoption.
  • By switching from 2D to 3D workflows, brands can measurably cut carbon emissions by reducing samples and shipping, as well as enabling designers to create with material impact, waste, and environmental targets in mind. Additionally, 3D technology can help to streamline and supercharge technical development, fit, material selection, line review, collaboration, costing, and much more.
  • Virtual sales samples that cover an entire range allow retailers to make more confident buying decisions, and replacing physical studio photography with 3D renders reduces the cost of onboarding new collections. Virtual try-on and data-driven fit recommendations greatly reduce returns, and retailers can utilise 3D technology to offer immersive and real-time experiences to shoppers.
  • Manufacturers can use 3D as a common language in-house and with customers, cut the number of prototypes needed to reach an approved style, and finalise orders faster with digital samples. And by digitising back catalogs and new innovations, suppliers of fabrics and trims can quickly incorporate new materials into their 3D styles.
  • The demand for 3D and digital product creation (DPC) solutions is continuously growing – in large part due to their ability to bring creative and technical disciplines closer together, reduce risk, and improve speed to market. In fact, the market for 3D and DPC tools is already equal to that of huge, enterprise systems.

With specific reference to how different business segments – brands and designers, fashion retailers, or manufacturers and material suppliers – can realise the most value from 3D, this guide is essential reading for anyone interested in a summary of fashion’s 3D / DPC journey, or a guide for how to start realising the benefits for themselves.

For more from SOURCING at MAGIC and The Interline, download the 2023 PLM Report and the 2022 DPC Report, and look for our round-up of the August 2023 edition of the live SOURCING at MAGIC show – and technology’s place in it – very soon.