The big fast-fashion industry will become even bigger.
All Fashion Is Fast Fashion
Before we go any further – what exactly determines a fast fashion?
Essentially, the term “fast fashion”, refers to when the production process is accelerated in order to get new catwalk trends into stores or online as quickly as possible, which places an emphasis on faster turnaround from design idea to product for purchase. In the current scenario, fashion industry, and to be more particular, the fashion apparel segment proves to be very volatile in nature. Clearly, it reflects how the new trends are impacting and growing consumer desire for speed and value in the wink of an eye.
Speed and agility The arrival of the Internet has had a reflective effect on the fashion segment, and its supply chain – including those accountable for the supply of printed fabrics. One main trend pioneered by the likes of Spanish fashion retailer Zara has been the emergence of fast fashion, and the launch of numerous collections within a traditional quarterly season. The principle is to increase the number of mini-seasons in each length of time with a steady stream of exclusive new stock entering stores. (Hayward, 2018)
Growing demand for uniqueness in fashion work In fashion, uniqueness is becoming more and more prevalent and desired. One-off designs are becoming the norm. It is the ultimate in mass customisation or personalisation – the basis for a new level of freedom of expression and individuality. This posed a problem for conventional analogue printers, but can be managed with inkjet, by ganging multiple short runs. This approach resembles the variable data printing work used with digital in other segments, like coding and marking. Analogue processes may still be used for an initial pre-customisation phase or for a subsequent non-variable overprinting aspect. Being able to do this relies on the collection of many orders, or the intrinsic uniqueness of a batch of items for a customer brand, and it again rest on on the software and computing power and capacity to cope with these challenges under pressure. Fashion, particularly ladies’ fashion, is a sub-segment where personalisation, design, one-offs, vivid colours and many aspects of digital dye sublimation printing shine. This is helping to build dye sublimation’s use in ties, scarves and shawls. These factors are felt in the related menswear and in the sportswear market. The T-shirt market benefits from the notion that he space on an upper body be a platform for messages and an expression of individuality.
The “fashion paradox” Digital dye sublimation pushes back on the “fashion paradox”, an important topic in academic circles of fashion and in business, since reuse and recycling of efficiently printed clothes and other items leads to less waste, even as the number of new “mini-seasons” and consumption cycles increases. Fashion brands themselves are often keen to adopt a green persona advertising ethical certifications to engage with consumers for whom this is an interest. Polyester is among the most readily recycled (or upcycled) of fabrics and has an advantage over cotton in that sense. Similarly, it can be argued that production of polyester fibre is environmentally better than cotton because polyester does not place demands on water supply (which could be used for human use in some of the areas in the world where cotton is produced), nor does it involve the use of pesticides (cotton is thought by many to contribute significantly to global pesticide use). On the other hand, polyester fibre is derived from fossil-fuel feedstocks (the demand for which is offset by use of recycled polyester). (Hayward, 2018)
The fast fashion industry it’s big business – and it’s only getting bigger.
"As the new ‘see now, buy now,’ model of consumption takes over along with online shoppers who expect fast-fashion, perfect made-to-measure fit and style, immediate delivery and mass-production comparable costs, the need for digital transformation becomes greater and more important than ever." - Learn more here.