Industry Spotlight: How Fashion Formula has revolutionised the supply chain mechanism of its customers…
Fashion Formula is an innovative, easy-to-use online platform whereby customers can create their own printed fabric, wallpaper, accessories or gift-wrap, manufactured in our state-of-the-art production facilities in North London. The company works closely with clients from couture, high street and premium fashion retailers; alongside DIY crafters and design-makers.
The platform allows independent pattern designers to upload their designs and create their own ‘mini-store’, granting the possibility to market their designs without holding stock or committing cash, and earning them up to 20 per cent commission on anything they sell to the general public. Fashion Formula manages all the production, dispatch and customer service, reducing a lot of the risk inherent in a small design business.
The second facet of the business, using the same ethos, is on-demand manufacturing for fashion and interior design retailers. The company is designed around the concept of mass customisation and personalised production – think Moonpig for fabric and wallpaper. The effects of this are tremendous; a reduction in the length of the supply chain for customers and changing attitude in the way designers and fashion retailers hold stock and run their own businesses. Through short-run custom manufacturing, they can achieve this without reducing the ability to efficiently service their customers.
In itself, digital textile printing is an enabling technology allowing mass customisation through ‘batches-of-one’ – diminishing the necessity for costly set ups and the requirement to produce and hold large amounts of stock, as well as giving it a great advantage over traditional textile printing methods. Mass customisation enables reduced lead-times on customised items so customers can manufacture in volume on a standard product whilst rapidly altering only the print within seconds – ‘achieving distinctiveness through customer-specific assembly of modules’.
Conjoined with the advancements in global communication – not to mention distribution – mass customisation has impacted significantly on the traditional standard of manufacturing. Companies can now manufacture only what is required, allowing them to respond rapidly to trends, as well as reducing stocks and capital expenditure. For fast fashion houses such as Zara, globalised rapid response can mean the fast-paced process of designing using CAD in one country, manufacturing in a second and distributing to a third, all in a matter of days or even hours.
Whereby a fashion retailer might traditionally have to order 5000m of one design to achieve a good price point, with Fashion Formula, there is little difference in cost between supplying 5000m of one design or 50m each of 100 designs. For the smaller high street or independent retailer, this provides the opportunity to offer a greater range of products and design without a large outlay. Additionally, Fashion Formula’s delivery times are days and weeks, not months; the retailer can order little and often, flexing to their seasonal demand. In this uncertain retail climate, the ability to reduce your supply chain risk is a powerful asset.
Find out more about Fashion Formula here