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Sustainable Fashion Production Technologies: 3D Virtual Sampling Prototypes

With the slow fashion movement spiking around the world, sustainable fashion production technologies have yet again been the main topic of conversation in 2022. While more and more consumers are open to changing their shopping habits to assist the rehabilitation of a planet in climate jeopardy, 3D Virtual Sampling comes as a breath of fresh air for fashion brands who want to reduce waste in both design and product development.

So, why sustainable fashion production technologies are so important, we hear you ask? The answer is, sadly, pretty simple. Traditional fashion production results in 15-25% of materials being wasted – that’s an awful lot of unused material, don’t you think? Even though most ethical brands have shifted their focus on the impacts of careless manufacturing, the design process itself, is also, evidently, a huge source of waste. That’s where the  3D Sustainable design prototype technology really shines.

In order to better understand why sustainable design prototypes are the future of the fashion industry, let’s first take a look at the consumers’ demands and the way they managed to force the industry’s priorities to change for the better. 

Why 3D Virtual Sampling is the future of fashion production technologies

According to the  recent McKinsey report in 2020, Fashion on Climate, ethical fashion aficionados are asking for:

The minimization of emissions from upstream operations, which includes less production and manufacturing waste as well as the decarbonization of the clothing manufacturing process. 

There is an ongoing demand for lowering emissions from the brands’ activities through the use of recycled fibers, more sustainable transport actions, the introduction of recyclable packaging, fewer returns, and the reduction of overproduction.

Lastly, most consumers want brands to encourage sustainable consumer behavior through
circular business models while also reducing washing and drying operations.

3D technology for design and prototyping ticks all the aforementioned boxes.

3D Virtual Sampling: Brand Case Studies

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger announced that 3D Virtual Sampling will be integrated into all design teams at its Amsterdam headquarters. “For our autumn season 2020, our men’s shirts will be 100% 3D and do not require sample production; the difference to classical processes is hardly noticeable. That’s the future.” mentioned said Daniel Grieder, CEO of Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe. The brand’s sustainable fashion production technologies include a digital fabric, pattern, and color library, digital 3D presentation tools, and rendering. 

Using this sustainable design prototype, every future sample will be virtual with material and no waste during the process. Moreover, Tommy Hilfiger’s production costs and time that are usually associated with the creation of physical samples will be reduced through this consumer-focused on-demand manufacturing model.

Under Armour

 Under Armour, ditched physical samples altogether, replacing them with 3D Virtual Sampling to reduce the manufacturing costs and product development time by nearly 50%. By implementing sustainable fashion production technologies, modifications are detected and made early on in the process which further minimizes time-to-market delays while also improving product quality.

AMS Atelier

AMS Atelier utilizes the innovative 3D Sustainable design prototype for their small business to furthermore enhance their creativity while also material waste from the 3-4 previously required samples before producing a final product. The result? This ethical fashion brand saw a 65% increase in productivity and allowed remote working for most of their staff.


 Taking a step further, VILA created a fashion collection entirely based on 3D samples. “These new digital solutions open a new world of possibilities in terms of production optimization and processes, and it makes us capable of taking the right steps towards a green transition. There’s still a long way to go, but we are moving in the right direction with 3D sampling,” explained Josephine Schorling, VILA Key Account Manager. 

The brand used  3D Sustainable design prototypes to showcase their new collection and get the customers’ feedback before the start of the product development process.

It’s safe to say that sustainable fashion production technologies like the innovative idea of 3D Virtual Sampling are the future of the industry. Brands can not only take their concept to production in a matter of weeks not months and leverage the easy process of applying changes to the fit and styles but also reduce their material waste, carbon emissions, and manufacturing costs.  

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