Culture, Trends & Stories

3D Tech Festival 2020: A Comprehensive Roundup For Apparel and Textile Manufacturers

What would you do if you had three days on your hands to meet some of the leading change-makers in the fashion and apparel industry? We suggest giving the world's biggest festival of 3D, apparel and fashion a go.

July 21, 2021
Written by
Maryam Yermak

Cover Photo: Shudu for Ferragmo, The Diigitals

Here's a summary of what went down last year at the 3D Tech Festival 2020

About The Festival

Last year's event was completely virtual and was four days long. It gathered 5,800 delegates across 1,000+ brands across 94 countries.

60 speakers presented their awe-inspiring ideas, expertise and experience in digital transformation across the fashion industry. The organising company Alvanon hosted the event  in collaboration with e-learning platform  to couple four main areas of digital transformation within the fashion industry:

  1. Data Collection & Standards
  2. Creating & Marketing
  3. Production & Supply Chain
  4. 3D Skills Development & Careers

At Inqova, we work with Manufacturers across three different areas: website design and development, B2B Marketing (social media, email and more), and fabric digitisation (INDIKON 3D). To keep up with the latest digitisation trends in the industry follow our LinkedIn Page.

Three Areas You Don't Want To Lose Sight Of

We've prepared a breakdown of the three most important areas of digitisation for textile and apparel manufacturers:

1. Authenticity of Digital Garment - Garment manufacturers, take note

"We have an opportunity today with the technology and tools available to us, to build a new future for the apparel industry. One where the digital and physical are closely connected and work together."- Jason Wang, COO, Alvanon

The COO at Alvanon Jason Wang is an experienced apparel-technology specialist who has over 20 years of experience in the field. He says that in order for digital transformation to happen, manufacturers should start by making the 3D garments authentic.

The first step to do so is to understand, design and define the size and shape standard for a target customer population.

That is how the company has created a complete range of correctly sized and shaped virtual avatars. These virtual bodies with all the key measurement data will be used as a basis of producing a relevant authentic digital garment.

Source: Alvanon

Jason Wang encourages fashion professionals to view the digital garment as they would a  physical product. The core advantage of digital garments is that they can be confidently and quickly created, and utilised in the virtual world before ever needing to produce wasteful and costly physical samples.

Having authentic digital garment library can cut physical sample production up to 80%. This innovation will become one of the most important shared assets for ay apparel industry.

2. Digital Runways in 3D - The new way of presenting your fabrics

“I’m all about making things accessible, sharing workflows, and just being open and honest because I want to see this industry achieving its best. I want to see what people can really create with similar sorts of assets.” - Cameron-James Wilson, CEO / Creative Director, The Diigitals

The Diigitals have been behind the innovations in the modelling industry. Their 3D fashion campaigns give us a vision of how digital runways will be key in future seasons.

Have you met the enigmatic digital supermodel Shudu?

She is one of the masterworks of The Diigitals' virtual modelling agency.

C.J. Wilson says that everything involved in creating a digital runway is "super achievable", if properly understood.

The processes, digital garments, design concept and pattern-making, pattern and fabric, post and simulate still images- all of these have to be properly implemented and utilised. This means we could possibly see manufacturers taking on the initiative of showcasing their patterns, fabrics and possibilities on a virtual runways.

Pro tip: It might be a good time to scout and reach out to freelance 3D product developers to help you out with making this a reality.

Coming back to utilising actual virtual models in campaigns is that it takes a lot of effort to create images. Each outfit is made from original sketches, photos and pattern pieces, which are then textured, posed and placed onto the digital model.

Rendering is another lengthy process even for still images of a virtual model wearing 3D garments.

If you were to produce 5 second animations of virtual catwalks it could take about 36 hours of rendering.

The Diigitals are experts in the field as you can see with their enamoured social following.

Plus, with social platforms like Instagram creating a "shop the look" feature, You can practically sell without ever having to create a physical garment before the transaction comes through.

With this type of technology and influence at your finger-tips, it may be worth giving your business model or at the very least your method of presentation a second look. It may be costly to consider such ideas but collaboration with technology companies such as The Diigitals and your customers maybe on the horizon with 3D workflows improving and becoming more accessible.

3. Are you 3D Ready? : Skill Check by MOTIF

“As an industry we need change agents throughout organizations – individuals, teams, executives who are able to reimagine roles and processes and work differently. This may be a disruptive process. To do that, we need people with a new blend of skills. This is the time to reimagine and reinvent roles – within companies and within careers.” - Catherine Cole, CEO, MOTIF

Catherine Cole, the CEO of MOTIF summarises several findings of the company's 2020 report.

Source: The State of Skills by Motif

MOTIF conducted a global skills survey asking about 900 apparel professionals and companies. The main accent was made on how prepared their businesses were for the digital transformation.

Here are the highlights of the survey:

  1. The top two business issues remain the same: employee training and skill development
  2. Sustainability and strategic sourcing are replaced by digital creation as a top priority for businesses in a post-Covid marketplace
  3. The top motivation is keeping up with technology and latest business trends, with employee satisfaction and engagement close behind
  4. In the past year large companies are paying more attention of upskilling their current employees, while mid-size and small businesses are looking for new hires

A university degree is important, but now there is a need for constant upskilling. The shelf life of skills within the apparel and textiles industry are now a mere five years. It may be valuable for you to consider retraining your employees to manage digital libraries, apply data science, support virtual sampling, and using 3D design and collaboration tools themselves.

With an everlasting need for change and progress in digital skills, the 3D tech Festival gave us a peek into key shifts within the fashion and apparel industry.

To know more:

View past recordings of the event. Or download the executive summary of the event.

If you're interested to know more about what the future of digitisation looks like, we recommend signing up for the 2021 event.

The demand for 3D transformation across the fashion industry's supply chain is unarguable, and should be met accordingly for the better future.

To learn more about INQOVA's fabric digitisation efforts, powered by Bandicoot, check out INDIKON 3D.

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