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Fighting fashion waste with digitized data system

The fashion industry worldwide is immensely overburdened with overstock, throwaway clothes, single-use plastics ending up in landfills or released micro particles-dyes and chemicals polluting the marine system and putting the lives of living creations at risk.

Fighting fashion waste -digitized data system
Figure 1: Digitized data system ensures no more dead stock.

The giant brands, fashion retailers operate mostly in an open-loop business model which is day by day increasing the never-ending fashion waste.

For years researchers, scientists, manufacturers, brands, industry stakeholders are trying to minimize the footprint for this $1.4 trillion global industry to pave the way for a better livable planet for the future generation.

After the 4th industrial revolution, the prospect of eradicating waste is seemingly on the horizon with the aid of software technologies.

In every season fashion brands equip themselves with huge product stocks with the typical push model – using manual market assessments and make designs what brands want to sell, rather than what consumers wanted to buy.

“There are numerous points along the supply chain for fashion products that are ripe for optimization and disruption. Given we currently live in a world burdened with overstocking, perhaps the most pragmatic application of technology is to match this existing, often high-quality stock to customers who have a demand for it, who are often unaware it’s available to buy,” said David Bishop, founder and CTO of Love the Sales.

The company works to help retailers to maximize the financial recovery of excess inventory.

Many of the brands also used AI to analyze fashion consumers’ choices and make predictions about what they will want next. And one of the effective way utilized recently is Made-To-Order (MTO) clothing model. This also induces sustainability as consumers will likely wear the clothing longer as it is custom made.

PlatformE software-centric approach to efficiency
Figure 2: Made-To-Order (MTO) clothing model lets consumers customize their products. Courtesy: Collected

MTO technology produces virtually modified design, model and creates millions of design combinations samples for consumers and produces only the selected one. Practically it will reduce the wasted – burned or end up in landfill – millions of samples every year, as well as, even minimize the production of unsuccessful product lines.

Like London, UK-based PlatformE provides the 3D customization tools for brands including Gucci, which uses the technology to create customized clothing for individual consumers. The cloud-based solution gives fashion brands access to a 3D digital database of accessories and clothing, hosted by PlatformE.

Fashion designers can use this dressmaking kit to create choices for customizable products, which PlatformE conceptualizes and then uploads into its software-based ‘engine’. Most amazingly using a dashboard, brands are able to measure client preferences and analyze meaningful data such as most prevalent styles, colors, ingredients and other variants.

“Providing customers and partners with a Software Development Kit (SDK), which connects and integrates a disparate system of brands, retailers and factories, enables our customers to scale while still having the flexibility to use their preferred layout, User Interface (UI) and User eXperience (UX),” Gonçalo Cruz, Co-founder and president of  PlatformE explaining the software-centric approach to efficiency of his company.

“In addition, as our technology is e-commerce engine agnostic, it is interoperable with any e-commerce platforms, both commercially available and proprietary, increasing our flexibility to integrate,” added Cruz.

The question that arises can data and software really change the fashion world? Well, data analytics can transform every characteristic of business if it is used in an intelligent method. Yes, the fashion supply chain will not change overnight. But the development of a fashion industry based on data intelligence engines really holds the key to future sustainability.

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