Driving customisation through technology
Customisation, the act of tailoring to individual specifications or preference, is one of the modern world’s fashion buzz words. But what does this term actually mean for digital printing, and how does digital print make this process possible?
Today, the European textile and clothing sector represents in the region of 170 billion euros – employing some 1.7 million people across 175,000 companies – which is set to increase by 35% (nearly 600,000 job openings) by 2025.
Within this rapidly growing industry, customisation is revolutionizing the fashion world by offering designers new ways to produce fabrics locally and cost-effectively. Instead of having to go down the timely route of having custom designed material printed overseas – which can take up to eight weeks to review, authorise and obtain the finished item – designers can now print patterns, patches and prints in a matter of minutes.
With more shoppers aware of the possibility to personalise their clothing, both online and in store, the popularity of customisation has risen and continues to build momentum. In fact, 81% of those asked were willing to pay upwards of 10% more for customised clothing (Deloitte, 2015).
Farfetch, the online fashion retail platform, is one of the first e-commerce platforms to work alongside well-known designer brands, including Fendi and Sergio Rossi, to offer customisation. Whilst designer labels, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Burberry are running on their own steam to offer personalised clothing in-store. Even the high-street retailer, Primark, introduced a customisation station to its London store in 2017.
So, where does Digital printing come in?
Digital printing has been around for several decades now, but the beauty of the production industry is that people and processes allow this powerful technology to continuously evolve.
Using the latest print head, inking and screen print loading technologies, direct to garment high-speed digital textile printers bring cost effective ink management and superior colour to mass decoration volume requirements.
Small production runs can be created inexpensively – on an individual basis – for on-demand designs, which cuts down on stockpiling and, most importantly, waste. Or for mass customisation, these machines can be up-scaled to create thousands of designs in a matter of days. Either route, production costs remain the same.
Direct to garment digital printers allow you to replicate widely appealing, on-point pieces, with precise colour depth and clarity that enables this type of printing technology to stand head and shoulders above other textile printing techniques.
Customisation is the future of fashion. From the size and shape of the garment to the choice of colours and prints that are applied, this technology gives the buyer the freedom to express themselves, and designers and printers the ability to change their business model to diversify revenue streams.