In a previous post, we discussed trends in digital transformation of the fashion industry and the exponential growth of smart factories in the industrial revolution 4.0. In this article, learn all about the possibilities of fashion customization in the context of the digitization of textile manufacturing processes.
Personalization and interconnectivity in the smart factory
New digital technologies are revolutionizing the textile industry as they help improve production processes. A good example is the personalization of clothing and accessories in the smart factory, integrating customization options for the customer into the purchasing process itself. What’s more, it also integrates the digitization of the traceability of garments in the production phase. Find out below how this challenge is being addressed in the textile industry.
Clothing customization will exist through a digital product customization tool interconnected with the production chain.
This digital tool will allow users to customize garments and accessories easily throughout the entire purchasing process, from item selection to payment, including the choice of different textile technologies, design alternatives, etc.
For example, the different customization options that are common today, such as laser marking, embroidery, etc., which are currently extra services with an additional cost in most cases, will become simple steps integrated into the purchasing process and interconnected with the production process of the textile company in question.
The idea is that the digital platform itself will be able to manage and send the specific personalization instructions for each garment. This will be done by means of labels indicating all the processes to which the garment purchased and customized by the consumer must be subjected.
The key is to offer an omnichannel between the customer and the textile company, integrating product customization functionalities that communicate with the order management and manufacturing system.
All this involves the processing of information in the cloud and the digitization of the machinery and its processes, in order to achieve automatic management of work orders, remote control of production and complete traceability of the manufacture of items customized by the customer.
Towards individual made-to-order (MTO) manufacturing
Advances in automation within the development of smart factories open the door to future individual MTO manufacturing, a business production strategy which would make huge changes in the current business model of the textile industry:
- The supply chain would be simplified, shortening delivery times.
- Inventories and their costs would also be reduced.
- The barrier of difficulty in finding the right size would no longer be a problem.
- Returns and related logistics costs would also decrease.
In addition, the fact of customizing the offer would allow price discrimination, which could introduce a major change that would greatly affect the current paradigm.
Towards efficient manufacturing
While this whole scenario is taking shape, another of the great opportunities offered by the smart factory, beyond fashion customization (a small sample of its enormous potential) is to improve efficiency, reducing the environmental footprint of a highly polluting industry.
At Evlox, we are already working to optimize our production processes in order to achieve greater efficiency in the manufacture of our denim fabrics, in line with our strong commitment to sustainability.
Here is how our factory processes work and how we are trying to optimize them:
- Spinning: we use two types of processes: open-end spinning (the most widely used in the denim fabric industry) and ring spinning, which is slower and costlier, as it requires additional processes (roving and winding). The way the fibers are spun and the yarns are obtained directly influences the quality of the garment.
- Dyeing: we are experts in both types of dyeing processes, rope dyeing and slasher dyeing. We are constantly innovating to reduce the environmental impact of our dyes. If you haven’t done so already, feel free to read our recent article about our new low-impact dyeing ICE KHOL.
- Weaving: our factory is equipped with rapier, projectile and air-jet looms, whose main differentiating advantage is energy savings.
- Finishing: we have the most innovative finishing technologies, such as those of Jeanologia, a Spanish company we collaborate with and which is a leader in garment finishing technology. Jeanologia has designed a process that reduces water consumption by 71%. AquaSave makes it possible to dye denim without wasting water. On the other hand, Eco4 is a finishing process that reduces water, time and waste, which is a major challenge in the textile industry today.
- Quality control: all our fabrics are subjected to scratching, analysis of physical parameters and shade control.
In future posts we will continue to unveil our processes and the innovations we are working on to continue contributing to improve the textile industry and its environmental footprint. Keep reading to learn more about sustainable fashion!