How to bring sustainability into product development and avoid issues such as overconsumption or overproduction?

Lectra's CAD, costing and nesting software helps fashion product development teams minimize fabric consumption and maximize profitability.

What can we do to avoid waste in the fashion industry?

Waste is at the heart of fashion, both the physical act of throwing away materials and clothes and the idea of discarding clothes once they’re no longer ‘in fashion’. Pressure to change is mounting however. Brands across the fashion spectrum are making sustainability a signature of their corporate strategy. While this is in large part driven by consumer demand and government regulations, it is also a cost issue.

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Patternmakers can be strategic assets in helping a brand achieve its sustainability and cost optimization goals by optimizing patterns for material consumption, using 3D prototypes and ensuring accurate fit. With Lectra’s CAD solutions, brands can avoid waste in their product development processes. Our 2D/3D patternmaking technology helps brands to minimize fabric consumption while providing products with perfect fit that hit the market at the ideal moment.

Quick Offer, Lectra’s cloud-based, automatic fabric consumption estimation and nesting solution, complements the patternmaking software, to give fashion companies an even greater edge in optimizing fabric use while boosting profitability and speed.


What solution should brands focus on to reduce the returns problem?

A survey conducted by McKinsey & Company shows that 25% of clothing purchased online is returned. Seventy percent of these returns are attributed to issues with sizing or styling.

Returns are not only a major cost driver and margin killer for companies but they also have a twofold environmental impact: the carbon footprint of additional transport and the unsold items that end up in landfills. Improving and standardizing fit can be a major step forward in a brand’s strategy to reduce waste and increase profitability.


How to overcome the issues of overproduction and overconsumption?

The seasonal fashion calendar pushes for overconsumption, waste and a relentless need for speed, which now characterizes the fast fashion industry. More and more brands are calling for the end to fashion seasons as a way to avoid waste, optimize production costs and reduce the overall pollution involved in material production.  

An effective seasonless strategy requires supplementing foundation products with strategically timed drops of newness, making an agile, reactive process essential.


Why is digitalization the key to eliminate waste from the start? 

Material is often the highest cost of clothing production. Yet fabric is also the most-wasted resource. Much of the industry’s efforts to minimize waste focuses on manufacturing, but the design and development process also generate a significant amount of waste.

Digitalization of the development process—from prototyping to fabric estimation and nesting through to patternmaking--can be critical for minimizing the use of fabric consumption for samples and ensure that brands order only the fabric they need.