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Digital supply chains to transform fashion industry in future

"Digitisation is taking the fashion industry by storm with many fashion e-commerce companies achieving the unicorn status in the industry. A prominent example of this is the Singapore-based privately held e-commerce start-up Zilingo which is digitising the entire fashion supply chain by unifying the HR systems, logistics APIs and operating systems of over of its 4,000 sourcing partners across the world. This has helped the company to reach $1 billion revenues in a short period of time."

 

Digital supply chains to transform fashion industry in futureDigitisation is taking the fashion industry by storm with many fashion e-commerce companies achieving the unicorn status in the industry. A prominent example of this is the Singapore-based privately held e-commerce start-up Zilingo which is digitising the entire fashion supply chain by unifying the HR systems, logistics APIs and operating systems of over of its 4,000 sourcing partners across the world. This has helped the company to reach $1 billion revenues in a short period of time.

In future, the company also plans to incorporate transparency programs that will give it a direct oversight of quality-control issues at the factory level through the provision of real-time data. By using proprietary quality-control modules, the company’s line managers will use connected tablets and a heat map to detect problem areas in their products.

Technology drives growth in apparel companies

Zilingo is thus symptomatic of the rapid advances reshaping the sourcing and apparel industries with techDigital supply chains to transform fashion industry companies driving the change. Signs of this shift was evident at this year's ‘Sourcing at One Magic’ event, hosted in Las Vegas recently. Many companies attending the event were looking for new ways to navigate the volatility caused by the recent tariff hikes, improve their delivery times and be more sustainable by harnessing the value of big data.

Like Zilingo, the growth of New York-based The Ohzone, has also been driven by the rise of e-commerce platforms and the race to deliver ever more effective online visual search technology in the clothing sector. The fashion technology company specialises in the creation of precise 3-D, zoomable models of real garments. These can be used to market the garment on the Shopify e-commerce platform, as well as to test outfits and change out elements without the need for any inevitably wasteful sampling. The company plans to push the digital apparel envelope further by creating digital-only clothing.

Digital closets gain popularity

The idea of creating a digital closet is rapidly gaining ground with many designers producing photo-realistic, digital-only collections. A prime example of this is the Scandinavian retailer Carlings, with its digital tailors manipulating its client's photos so it appeared that they were wearing the company's limited-run finery – and all at a very real world $30 per piece. Similarly, Moscow-based fashion influencer Daria Simonova modeled her Carlings'3-D collection to her 56,000 followers on Instagram, with her photo of a puffer jacket paired with lightning bolt-embellished jeans notching up more than 4,700 likes.

The power of mobile games

One way brands can leverage the potential of digital closets is through mobile gaming. For instance, Glu Mobile's Covet Fashiongame enables players to style their models in digitally rendered clothing and accessories – brought in $53.4 million in sales last year. Similarly, San Francisco-based company's Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game, allows users to dress an avatar – presumably an amply derriered one – in designer garments, has generated more than $240 million in sales since it was launched in 2014. Meanwhile, the first digital couture dress – created by The Fabricant, an Amsterdam-based fashion label – fetched $9,500 at auction in May.

Digital designerwear is thus on its way to become the next fast fashion with the apparel industry dramatically upping its uptake of IT engineers.

 
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