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When multiple stakeholders are working on a digital apparel creation project, it’s critical that everyone is on the same page. Or in digital terminology, on the same data file.  

“Too often it’s, ‘Where’s the data? What’s the latest version of the data? What you sent me is no longer the right data,’” said André Wolper, founder and CEO of Embodee, in a fireside chat with Sourcing Journal.

Orchids by Embodee, the company’s newly launched virtual design software, ensures that shared data is always centralized, up-to-date and accessible to all users in real time. “This reduces communication problems and delays, and of course, provides instant access to the portfolio.”

Digitization is quickly becoming a priority for modern apparel and footwear brands, and the pandemic accelerated the comfort of collaborating from afar. But while shared Google workspaces that live in the cloud have become the norm for things like spreadsheets and documents, communal digital creation tools haven’t quite caught up yet—and the fashion industry is missing out.

Digital creation software platform Orchids by Embodee offers multiple benefits to companies, including streamlining development, boosting communication and collaboration, and improving sustainability.

“Here, brands who work with a supplier are now sitting at the table of the creation platform, which helps them see what the designer sees,” said Wolper. Whether changing a print, scaling or moving a graphic, or working on colorways, everything is instant and shared. “It really tightens up the iteration times needed to arrive at good results.”

Being able to leave comments directly on the product document, versus taking a screenshot and marking up notations by hand, also fosters clearer communication among far-flung teams. “The next morning on the other side of the world, someone wakes up and immediately understands the comment because the context makes it more efficient and easier to understand,” he said.

Despite such advantages, progress on moving the entire fashion industry to a fully digitized domain has been slow. Many software programs require high skill levels, both on the supplier and brand end. But Orchids by Embodee, to the contrary, has a low barrier to entry.

“We can draw the whole team into the process with their existing skills without retraining and relearning,” said Wolper.  “In Orchids, someone who’s developing products can present it to a buyer virtually via the Internet, just like in a video conference. You can lay up products on the board, inspect it up close and make changes on the fly.”

Such streamlined collaboration also boosts sustainability, reducing the carbon-intensive process of shipping “five, six, seven sample versions” back and forth before the product is even determined ready for production. It’s all a win for efficiency, collaboration and the environment.

To watch the fireside chat, click the image above.