A fashion expert has underscored the benefits of digitalization for the textile and fashion industries as a means to minimize waste and improve efficiency, from design all the way to production.
Mick Perez, interim academic chair of the SoFA Design Institute’s fashion department, said virtual fashion design is a game-changer in reducing textile waste materials in fashion product development.
At the recent 2023 Philippine Textile Congress, Perez said data showed that 92 million tons of textile wastes are produced globally each year, equivalent to a garbage truck full of clothes being dumped into landfills every second.
He said much of this waste is “a result of overproduction and what we wear and throw away.” However, wastage also happens in the pre-production stage “even before a product is released for consumption.”
As the world moves toward eco-friendly and sustainable production, Perez said the fashion and textile industries should start incorporating state-of-the-art technology into their design and production processes through virtual fashion design.
“Technological advancements have created new opportunities. Virtual fashion design enables the designer to create virtual 3-D samples using various 3-D rendering software available nowadays,” he said.
In traditional fashion design and development, manual sample making is one of the most tedious and wasteful procedures, sometimes taking months to finalize one prototype and requiring the use of large amounts of textiles, manpower, and other resources while incurring a big overhead as well.
In virtual fashion design, the sample making stage is all done online, cutting down on time and costs for companies, said Perez.
In virtual sampling, “some of the benefits are reduced risk of measurement errors, a high degree of precision in drafting and editing, and reduced paper waste,” he continued.
Afterwards, virtual sewing and assembling is also done through simulation, making it easier, cheaper and faster to have samples ready for adjustment. Adjustments, too, are carried out more swiftly via simulation using avatars.
Material and color testing can then be conducted to test digitally the different fabric and color options for the same product design.
Animation, meanwhile, can show how the dress will look on people and how it will move in the real world, while the finished virtual fashion renderings can be used as production guides or marketing collaterals, said Perez. – Press release