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It’s no secret that consumers have become increasingly aware of the environmental and ethical impact of their clothing. In fact, 69% say they would like to know how their clothes are manufactured and 74% believe fashion brands should publish the factories they use for manufacturing. When it comes to transparency and traceability, many fashion companies are still struggling.

Recently, the key areas of focus for technology adoption have been in the areas of PLM, 3D technology and e-commerce. Over the last several years, many companies have realized the importance of technology in order to collaborate remotely, make faster decisions and shorten time to consumers, but Covid-19 has greatly accelerated the need for adoption. But, are companies actually implementing these technologies so that they’re effective?

Even almost a year into the global crises, brick and mortar stores are being pressured to remain closed or operate at limited capacity. For consumers, this means they’re unable to try clothes on before purchasing, resulting in a high level of returns. Concomitantly people are working from home and their needs in terms of clothing has completely changed. With so many changes and a large amount of unpredictability, mass production is not the go to model anymore. Fashion and apparel companies need to transition to a direct to consumer model that will allow them to produce what the customer buys at the speed and agility they need.

The workwear and uniform market is set for substantial growth in the coming years as a result of the rising demand for better quality, quicker turnaround times and a strong emphasis on workplace safety. However, soaring demand for protective workwear could also compound pre-existing issues in the uniform manufacturing supply chain. The industry will need to make considerable changes to the way measurements are collected in order to improve fit, minimize returns, and improve efficiency as demand soars.

There is no denying the seriousness of the state of the world today. We have witnessed the global ramifications on our health, economy, and resources. As we forge ahead into whatever the new normal will look like, we can choose to either feed the fear OR, we can choose a different path. For most brands, retailers and manufacturers, there is no time better than now for businesses to recalibrate the way we collaborate, manufacture, and drive PROFIT through increased efficiency.

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