Fashion Software Saves the Earth, One Cut at a Time

Fashion Software Saves the Earth, One Cut at a Time

Going “Green” is the buzz word in the apparel fashion industry as of late.

As the Green movement continues to impact this industry, designers from every corner of the trade emerge with products that fit right into the latest hype. Tweed suits, fabrics made of recycled plastic bottles, cotton clothing made from chemical-free recycled textiles – even woven recycled audio tape has been created for the Green stamp of approval.  In 2009, the perception of something “Green” being limited to the type of recycled or organic fabric is outdated.

Beyond the reach of the recycled material and product design of the fashion and textile industry, comes a different mentality for the Green movement: software technology created to decrease the wasteful habits of the fashion industry. Companies are already taking the greener route by using specialized applications for automatically managing desktop power consumption, consolidating their servers and using energy-efficient storage and other hardware-related initiatives. Often however, companies overlook the benefits of how specialized software in the fashion and textile industry can heavily support the move to become Greener.

Now, companies in this industry have introduced a new side of going Green that reaches beyond the scope of recycled materials and product designs.

Specialized CAD textile software such as Optitex has been presented as the latest weapon for the fashion industry in taking steps in the Green direction.  Software like theirs has been developed to enable designers and manufacturers to produce their lines of fashion without one snip or cut. It is a common attitude in many companies that corporate responsibility and an environmentally friendly approach are not mutually exclusive but in fact- intimately entwined. By deploying CAD 2D and 3D tools, designers virtually eliminate wasted fabric, paper, power usage, and, most importantly, the energy used to transport physical samples over long distances.

Such software continues to impress by the introduction of electronic 3D messaging. Now, designers can minimize on the constant use of delivery trucks and services, detracting on the pollution cause by such use. The implementation of Green Software also means less paper is being used and designers can cut their expenses on wasted fabric from altering and redesigning their lines.  As of late, these software users can witness how an entire fashion television show can be produced with minimal fabric used and virtually no paper involved.  Nowadays, designs are only being printed on pattern paper when the final look and feel is acceptable. This new approach assists brands and manufacturers in streamlining the planning to production process, resulting in a decrease of up to 70% of the cost of using samples and results in a quicker time to market.

“No one can afford to turn a blind eye to environmental concerns and the various costs – ecological, human and financial – involved,” according to leading designer Zorana Kozomara. “My personal philosophy dictates that we can’t be hypocritical by using environmentally friendly fabrics, but then not even blink at the incredible waste of our usage of rolls of paper, fabric and muslin. We must be consistent in our approach to utilizing resources, and using software that promotes that consistency.”

Another Green goal has been achieved by having designers and manufacturers incorporate unique CAD software that offers the user a suite of tools that simulates all pre-production activities related to fitting, visualization and color variation – furthermore, this “Green” software is specifically designed to be used as a communication tool among the retailer, subcontractor, designer, pattern maker, manufacturer and the engineering, merchandising, and management departments. In this respect, communication costs are dramatically saved by eliminating the need for a single piece of thread being shipped off into the world thus eliminating travel expenses for major clothing lines and upholstery manufacturing.

Specialized software on the market creates a virtual world for designers to test their apparel and other textiles. Mannequins on screen are not stiff, one-size-fits-all creatures. These 3D avatars come in adjustable body measurements and several posture positions. Users of such specialized software for the fashion and textile industry can also create their own specific base-size mannequins, saving fitting time. Such software results in decreasing time-to-market by reducing product development steps, lowering costs and waste that go with producing many iterations of a sample; and, thanks to accurate modeling, enhances the quality of the end product. As the 3D technology has matured, it is now offering solutions beyond the supply chain and has debuted on the internet with clothing brands offering full 3D view of the garment through static and dynamic animation. Fashion brands can now provide their customers with online 3D models to simulate the look and feel of their collections. By enhancing the consumer shopping experience while creating a more successful platform to shop online, companies are taking a new and highly successful marketing angle for their valued customers.

The success of Green software technology depends on these specialized software companies working closely with leading universities and encouraging such software to become a standard in their academic curriculum.  In the past, the textile industry has falling behind in the technology world- using traditional and time consuming methods to achieve production. Fashion technology has since taken a huge leap into the future as companies like NVIDIA, the world leader in visual computing technology and the inventor of the GPU has chosen to cooperate with fashion software companies such as Optitex catapulting this technology to the top in the 21st century. The success of such software will finally become realized with the new generation using such technology.  As writers use the standard in word processing, fashion technology will become a staple in the textile world.