Industry

Fashion

Date

Customer stories

FABRIC, Fashion incubator and business accelerator, relies on Lectra’s on-demand microfactory for domestic manufacturing

FABRIC’s investment in equipment and technology makes the impossible possible for small businesses and designers

Unique challenges faced by smaller brands

FABRIC, the Fashion And Business Resource Innovation Center, implemented Lectra’s solutions to make technology the central part of their operations, empowering designers to grow their brands to the next level thanks to on-demand domestic manufacturing.

FABRIC was intentionally designed to lower the barrier for entry in the fashion and apparel space for new and emerging brands and designers, in a model they call “Democratizing Fashion.” These smaller brands have a variety of unique needs, such as requiring smaller runs of a product, unique customizations, or iterating on the actual design of the garment. Even if they are able to succeed, these processes are often not efficient or sustainable for either the designer or the environment.

Sherri Barry, co-founder of FABRIC realized that what small brands and designers really needed was a way to, “Get product to market faster, easier, and in a more unique customized way.”

Produce domestically and in smaller batches, FABRIC reinvented the process with Lectra

The co-founders of FABRIC both knew first-hand how daunting, overwhelming and costly it was to start an apparel business and wanted to ease that burden for others. They called it “Democratizing Fashion”.

FABRIC-picture

“We wanted to figure out how to provide the resources for an apparel entrepreneur under one roof and help these apparel entrepreneurs be more competitive with the bigger brands,” said co-founder Angela Johnson, on why they started FABRIC.

Their mission has resulted in helping nearly 800 apparel entrepreneurs bring their dreams to life and resulted in more than $6.8 million donated in free and discounted programs and services. FABRIC is unique in that they don’t turn away brands who need help finding the right resources to manufacture garments.

They focus their efforts on helping a higher volume of smaller brands, instead of allowing the production needs of bigger brands to edge out those most in need of their services.

A visit of the Innovation center to realize the possibilities

This strategy of small batches and unique products required a reinvention of the process, as well as an ability to connect the dots between the different systems and managing data from design to the final product. FABRIC always wanted to support 21st century manufacturing for smaller, digitally-native brands, and when they saw Lectra’s Innovation Center and Microfactory in New York City—they were able to realize the possibilities.

Upon visiting the Innovation Center, co-founder Sherri Barry remarked how seamless and integrated the process was and imagined the possibilities for her own customers. She noted the ability to “start with any surface design, have it patterned in Gerber AccuMark 2D/3D, visualized with a 3D sample, digitally printed, then cut with an IoT-enabled cutter and sewn, really made on-demand production a reality.”

 

Complete microfactory to provide cutting edge solutions

Gerber AccuMark allows the development of 2D digital patterns that can be visualized in 3D with production accuracy while avoiding the need for creating a physical sample and ensuring a perfect fit. When surface designs are involved, the images are positioned in Gerber AccuMark patterns, and then data is passed seamlessly to the Kornit Presto digital printer and accurately read and cut using the Gerber Z1 cutter with ContourVision™.

Empowering customers through industrial intelligence 2/2 FABRIC continued to fuel the expansion of their technology suite by including Gerber YuniquePLM, a cloud-based PLM system that helps to manage all the orders for their many brands. It also helps keep the data seamlessly connected to Gerber AccuMark and have it updated in real time.

Adopting technology also helped FABRIC successfully pivot during the pandemic to large-batch production of PPE thanks to having a fully integrated technology-based system.

Because of their reliance on Lectra's technology suite, FABRIC and The Fashioneer’s complete microfactory are now able to provide cutting edge solutions and much needed resources to up and coming brands and designers nation-wide and may someday rival the traditional fashion hubs of the world.

Lectra Innovation Center features the Gerber Microfactory which is a fully connected solution that enables customized, made-to-measure and on-demand production.