just-style authors and correspondents
Articles by Lee Adendorff
2014 was a tumultuous year for many garment-making countries. While some were burdened by ongoing industrial unrest and allegations of poverty wages and labour violations, others saw exports increase in a critically competitive environment.
Wearable technology, 3D printing, and new frontier fabrics: 2014 was the year where science wove itself onto threads as never before.
International expansion, strong online performance and ethical commitments helped lift some retailers during 2014, but merchandise misses, the closure of underperforming stores, and a profit overstatement weighed on others.
Successful turnaround plans, strong export growth, and innovative products paid dividends for some brands in 2014, while others were dented by takeover talk, adverse currency impacts and unsubstantiated marketing claims.
From scanning technology for major sizing studies, to magic mirrors or virtual fitting rooms, 3D technology is helping to transform both retail stores and online shopping.
The reality of 3D printing and its commercial application in the fashion industry is currently restricted to a relatively limited range of materials. These include mostly plastics and metals, although materials research is in constant evolution.
Many analysts describe 3D as 'disruptive' technology and its introduction into the apparel industry has not been without sceptics. But workplace examples show how apparel companies are successfully embracing 3D software.
Three-dimensional (3D) technology - while well established in many other industrial sectors like aerospace, architecture and industrial design - is still relatively new to the fashion industry.
Australia's cotton industry is anticipating a significantly reduced yield in the 2014/15 harvest if the ongoing drought in the country's cotton-growing regions does not ease.
Product lifecycle management (PLM) systems provide increasingly sophisticated tools for getting the right products to market at the right time - with current trends including more integration with ERP, and collaborative sharing in the development process.
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