The growth of e-commerce has been a game changer for the fashion industry, but it has also turned the economics of supply and demand on its head. Trends aren’t necessarily set by apparel brands in the way they used to be, with more consumers now serving as the industry’s tastemakers.
With brands now playing a more reactive role in supply and demand, they have to change how they produce garments, from speed to agility to number of SKUs.
Omer Kulka, chief marketing officer at printing solutions firm Kornit Digital, says that this “demand and supply” economy is primed for an uptick of on-demand apparel production. In offering a solution that can digitally print with a single ink set directly onto multiple types of fabric with no additional finishing processes, he sees Kornit as the answer to accelerating the supply chain transformation.
In taking the risks inherent with seasonality and style trends out of the equation, on-demand production eliminates excess inventory, according to Kulka. This is crucial as brands are still struggling with offloading excess merchandise stemming from the demand crunch brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What I think COVID proved is that it’s not about tweaking your existing supply chain, it’s about creating something new,” Kulka said. “You cannot make it the same way you did before, because the back end and the front end just don’t fit anymore. You need to create a completely new supply chain, and I’m really happy to see that more people understand that and are moving in that direction.”
Watch the discussions with Kulka and Edward Hertzman, founder and president of Sourcing Journal, to learn:
- Why fast fashion is so costly, and why so few brands are successful in the business model
- How on-demand production can become a bigger part of the sustainability conversation
- How Kornit helps apparel clients capture and monetize “micro moments”
- Overproduction’s impact on the environment, and the percentage of apparel that remain unsold
- Why fashion’s front-end and back-end operations create a “bipolar” industry
- The importance of catering to consumers’ sense of self-expression
- How co-creation can help bridge the connection between shopper and garment