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FIT Turns to On-Demand Manufacturing to Launch Student-Designed Labels

Students at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) are about to get a lesson in sustainable, on-demand manufacturing.

The New York City school is teaming up with Tennessee-based OnPoint Manufacturing to enable students to conceive and execute their designs and to develop its own branded line of apparel. FIT saw the value behind the “innovative technology” powering OnPoint’s Unique Fashion platform, which the schools says will act as the marketplace where students will create and sell their designs. In a departure from traditional approaches to apparel design, the platform’s algorithm bypasses body scanners, photos or measurements, relying on just the customer’s height, weight and age to ensure “high-quality results in garment personalization.”

“This new paradigm will provide students, brands, and designers a revolutionary fashion value chain, in an innovative learning environment,” Michael Ferraro, executive director of the FIT/Infor Design and Technology Lab, said. “This partnership will engage faculty and students as they research the impact of emerging technology for on-demand, personalized fashion and apparel products.”

FIT said the partnership gives students the opportunity to experience how on-demand manufacturing is a sustainable alternative to standard production methods and creates less material waste—in addition to eradicating unwanted excess inventory. Student garments will be produced in OnPoint’s Florence, Ala., manufacturing facility.

FIT’s branded line will offer garments for both a high-end and a mass-market consumer, though all apparel will feature a similar “wearable avant-garde aesthetic.”

Students from fashion design, technical design, fashion business management, textile development and marketing, advertising and marketing communications, and communication design will participate in the collaborative program.