On-Demand Manufacturing Transforming the Way Traditional Apparel Industry Works
- What exactly is ‘on-demand manufacturing’?
- On-demand manufacturing simply means producing a product only after its order has been received. In the fashion industry, this concept has taken a modern approach to old-time tailor shops offering custom, tailored clothing for clients. Each clothing item is made as and when they are ordered leading to zero waste making it a highly sustainable business model. Moreover, there is zero risk except for inventory costs of raw materials like fabrics, accessories, trims, etc. The cost of holding, selling, and discarding extra inventory is also eliminated by applying this model. On-demand manufacturing enables businesses to offer various sizes so that their clothing can fit different body shapes and sizes. A tailored fit can also be offered to fit-conscious consumers. The idea of on-demand manufacturing appeals to a generation of new-age thinkers who are concerned about the environment and sustainability in the future.
- Why ‘on-demand manufacturing’ model should be preferred over mass manufacturing?
- Fast fashion is a poor practice leading to climate change and there is an urgent need to reverse this trend. Fashion has evolved into a highly dynamic industry where trends and styles change over a very short period. Moreover, it has evolved into a wasteful practice causing overproduction and widespread wastage of resources.
- Major fast-fashion labels outsource their production to countries like India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc., where the overall cost of production is low. Product development is associated with high costs, leads to wastage of resources and time, and is carried out for 90 percent of products that will never be sold. When ordering inventory, these labels tend to overestimate anticipated sales due to poor forecasting practices and end up ordering more inventory than they can sell. By ordering higher quantities, the cost per garment is also reduced due to economies of scale. Thus, this leads to heaps of unsold inventories sitting on shelves which are then sold at discounted prices.