Argentina-based garment manufacturer and retailer Kevingston is building an efficient just-in-time direct-to-garment (DTG) production model, with a focus on expanding its catalogue and minimising overstock.

The company, which has 140 stores in Argentina, has increased its investment in Kornit digital printing systems, including the Kornit Presto S system for single-step, roll-to-roll direct-to-fabric printing. This, it says, will eliminate excess inventory at a time where traditional seasonal collections are fast becoming obsolete.

The technology allows the creation of a broad range of pieces using a set of eco-friendly Kornit NeoPigment inks.

The move comes as Kevingston recognises the shift to web-based "see now, buy now" shopping, which has increasingly diminished the effectiveness of traditional seasonal collections. As such, the firm says it has become "quite impossible" to anticipate the most popular trends 18 months out, a development requiring agile technologies that can be adapted to serve new consumer demands in an instant. 

"Fast fashion is the key to the textile industry," says Diego Sterman, owner of Kevingston. "While we've been blessed to produce our apparel in close proximity to our retail stores, we also need to determine quickly which pieces are selling and which are not, and ensure we're producing the popular items, with minimal lag between identifying the trend and acting on it. Kornit's Avalanche system has been key to shrinking our overstocks and minimising markdowns on shirts, and we can't wait to expand that benefit to our wider product line with Kornit Presto S."

The digital printing technology has also enabled Kevingston to experiment with bolder, more eye-catching designs.

"With digital technology, there's less risk in trying more extraordinary, less conservative concepts. We can print as many or as few pieces as necessary, in a very short time, which keeps our inventory risks in check. That's simply not possible with traditional screen printing, which requires considerably more time and labour to set up, and higher quantities to justify."