With sustainability often seen as an expensive and complex journey, how can Fashion brands and retailers easily make their products more sustainable while still meeting budget, aesthetic and performance requirements?

An area often overlooked is the brand’s labelling and packaging design. Traditionally, brands produce specs for their labels based on their requirements but, more often than not, they aren’t aware of the implications their choices can make on material consumption, cost and the environment.  What’s more, to make matters worse, the label supplier then simply follows these instructions and produces to their customer’s requirements rather than taking a consultative approach and identifying small changes that can provide significant benefits for everyone including the label supplier themselves.

Offered as a free-to-utilise service, intelligen™ is our free-to-use, award-winning product re-engineering solution that helps customers maximise the performance, cost efficiency and sustainability of their labelling and packaging by applying small dimensional changes to minimise their waste.

intelligen™ follows a simple 3-step process: investigate, re-size and re-invest in ‘green’.

At the investigation stage, we get to know their customer’s product and business better to see where problems might be occurring and what opportunities exist. After selecting the products to improve, our product engineers study the existing design and determine what production platform improvements can be made along with the impact it has on cost and the environment. With intelligen™ linked to each of our widespread global manufacturing facilities, we identify whether the design of the chosen product can be improved or produced more efficiently, according to the specific machines it is going to be made on.

This information is used as a baseline. For example, our engineers consider the type of press or loom the product is currently being made on and/or if the product’s dimensions can be optimised to fit more on a sheet/loom width.

For woven labels specifically, they may even suggest that the customer use their bespoke virtual proofing LabelView™️. Using this software creates realistic and incredibly detailed digital images of woven labels to help brand direction, colour choices and various other aspects of label design before committing to physical sampling for final approval. It drastically speeds up the sampling time (reducing it from weeks to days) while decreasing the use of energy and materials during the sampling process.

At the re-size stage, we slightly alter the original product’s dimensions to offer a “Better” alternative and presents the results by highlighting improvements made. We also provide samples, cost comparisons, raw material saving statistics and the impact on the use of natural resources.

At the final stage, we look at how customers can re-invest in ‘green’. The benefit of intelligen™ is that it’s more than just a re-sizing tool. Although the cost and environmental savings after this step are already impressive, our engineers look at raw material types and quality to create the “Best” option: the most sustainable alternative.

For paper labels, they offer customers the opportunity to re-invest their cost-savings achieved in the previous step into even more sustainable materials which may have been considered a luxury otherwise. With woven labels, they further engineer the label by reducing the weft density or picks per centimetre (PCM) which allows for a high-quality label and, more importantly, brings even greater cost savings due to faster weaving and even less waste due to less yarn needed in production.