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Sustainable, virtual 3D sampling

Here are a few flat sketches drawn in Illustrator for a client's tech pack in 2019, before they were colored in. Due to the shape of the garment, this dress was sketched on-body and laid out flat to show the factory making the production how it should appear both 'live' and on the table.

Here’s the result from that project’s production run. Looks great, right?

Finished dress production

Now, in 2019, what if we wanted to see that dress in a silk crepe de chine fabric with a different print and a slightly different style of belt? Or in a few more different prints? We'd have to buy more sample yardages, wait for fabric and trims to arrive, plot a few more copies of the pattern, bring it to the factory, and wait for the sample room to finish making the samples. Then go pick them up, have a fitting, have a meeting to review fit comments, and decide how to proceed from there. That could cost several hundred dollars for materials and samples here in the US. And it could take 4 to 6 weeks or more depending on how long the fabric takes to ship and how busy the factory's sample room is.

Today, we can get a better idea of how to move forward and save those 4 to 6 plus weeks with virtual sampling. By making the garment pattern digitally and simulating it into 3D, here is what this dress might look like in the silk with a new print design and non-attached self fabric belt from a few different angles:

We can also see this in multiple different colorways:

Or review the garment on a 360° turntable:

Or see it in a different pose:

Close up views are easily available to see things like stitch color:

and inside logo label without the avatar body in the dress:

The avatar's size is also adjustable so you can see your exact garment measurements on a 'body' that has your fit models measurements too.

3D sampling is the way of the future. Having worked in the fashion and apparel industry since 2000, I've seen a massive amount of garments go to waste. On the retail level, a designer shop I worked at would 'damage out' their dresses if there was a tiny hole in them and thrown them away. On a corporate level, my product team used to sample 50-100 styles a season to show the buying and merchandising teams a real life garment instead of a sketch. Usually 75% of those styles would be cancelled or dropped from the line and go to waste. The styles that got approval to move forward towards production often went though 3 to 5 fit samples to get the base size fit perfected, then multiple more size set samples to check other sizes, and then move on to wear testing. Wear testing would often involve 10-20 people depending on the product. If the garment had any issue in wear testing another round of samples might need to be made. Picture around 200 samples going in the trash 4x a year from one department at one company only. Or have a look at the image below. We cannot afford to keep being so wasteful any longer.

Discard samples from one season
Discard samples from my old office in one season

If you would like to see your idea as a 3D virtual sample, please reach out here for more information. Thank you for your interest in truly sustainable sampling.

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