This article was published in Rivet June 22, 2022. On-demand production continues to be a growing interest for SPESA and its member. This is a topic that SPESA will touch on during its upcoming Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference.
Sustainable finishing technology company Jeanologia is building the technology for a leaner and more efficient operating model for the apparel industry. The Spanish company recently introduced its Urban Factory, a combination of interconnected and automated hardware and software that serves as a new digital finishing plant.
With the Urban Factory concept, Jeanolgia aims to provide companies a solution for on-demand production closer to key markets.
“We are betting on the reindustrialization of Europe and the U.S. by bringing manufacturing closer to the consumer,” said Carmen Silla, Jeanologia marketing director. In the wake of supply chain delays and shortages and better inventory management, the company envisions a new operating model that moves away from fast fashion to “accurate fashion” with on-demand production. “In this way, we move from selling what we have produced to producing what we have already sold—a production model that eliminates brand stock and waste,” she said.
The factories are based on a process Jeanolgia calls “postponement.” Silla said at least 80 percent of the garments in consumers’ closets are basic items. The main differentiation lies in the color, print, embroidery, and finishing—pieces of the production puzzle that can be added at the last moment when brands have a better grasp on what’s selling.
“The idea is for brands and their suppliers to manufacture basic garments and bring them already sewn close to the consumer,” she said. “This allows brands greater flexibility and a much wider product range as they will be able to test their designs in stores and react quickly to consumer demands.”
This, Silla added, eliminates the traditional definition of stock because the basic or blank garments that remain in the factories can be designed into another product.
The U.S. denim industry is inching closer to localization for portions of production. In Los Angeles, Saitex USA offers the latest laser cutting technology, semi-automated sewing, robotic spraying, 3D laser detailing and one-step wash machines that are connected to a water recycling system. Also in L.A., Star Fades International provides turnkey and custom wash and finishing services.
Jeanolgoia showed off its Urban Factory concept last week at Texprocess Frankfurt. The company also showcased updates to its two-year-old designer software, eDesigner, an intuitive platform that standardizes formats and communication between designers, wash developers and manufacturers. The software’s new “hyper realistic visualization” render engine enables brands to develop virtual collections with confidence of what you see on the screen is what you get in production, Silla said.
“eDesigner previews with high quality and allows brands and their suppliers to anticipate modifications without generating physical samples, reducing sample production by 80 percent,” she said.