Technologies Changing Apparel Manufacturing

Technology is constantly evolving and to keep up with it your factory needs to upgrade its existing solutions to achieve better efficiency. Efficiency can be achieved through digitization, the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), business intelligence, and MES - management execution system.

Digitization – Digitalization of the shop floor data. Making use of the shop floor data in improving factory performance.

Internet of Things (IoT) - A way of connecting each sewing machine and equipment through the internet (wi-fi) and being able to reach each other and share data. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI tool) - Using the collected data through digital solutions and using AI for getting projections in various production areas.    

Business Intelligence - A tool that helps in preparing customized reports, KPI dashboards from the data you have gathered in your system and database. 

MES – Management execution system. A tool of a combination of IoT, real-time tracking of order from each stage through scanning barcode/QR code/RFID kind of tags

Implementing new technologies can be daunting, but getting a digital profile of your factory to increase buyer attention is relatively easy. From there new software to increase productivity from the floor can be an effective way to transition the current factory into a digital industry 4.0 ready factory. 

New Trends in Buyer

Following up on the recent buyer trend to change design is a crucial element to be a successful apparel manufacturer. The world is moving towards connectivity, like social networks and now the next stage of such revolution is metaverse. The fashion industry is also changing its retail model to adapt to buyer trends to look for digital goods for their avatar or digital persona. According to WGSN, the in-game skin market is expected to reach US$50 bn by 2022 from US$30 bn in 2017.  

Resale e-commerce is rising. A trend where consumers sell and buy refurbished clothes. The market for this sector was around US$ 7 bn in 2019, now it is estimated to reach US$36 bn by 2024 (Yieldify). This is due to an intense push to become more sustainable to reduce the impact on the environment.  

Another trend is increasing demand for athletic leisure clothes like yoga pants and t-shirts. Lululemon, Athleta, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Dick's Sporting Goods all reported strong sales for athletic leisure attire. Comparatively, traditional apparel like office suits and formal apparel struggled. According to a recent report by Technavio this sector is expected to grow by $153.02 billion during 2021-2025, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of more than 7 percent.     

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