Sustainable Supply Equals Good Garment Fit

The three things an apparel brand must strive for, great design, consistent fit appropriate to the target audience and hanger appeal that says buy me. The brands design handwriting is its roots and one of the core selling points, but if garments don’t fit, sizing is inconsistent from garment to garment, and it looks like a garbage bag on a hanger, it won’t sell.

When customers find a brand with the precise handwriting, the garment fits and they feel comfortable, that customer will become a quintessential part of the business, one that returns. The fit is even more important, within today’s e-commerce economy. If a customer previously bought size XX from a brick and mortar store, they know 99% of the time when purchasing their favourite brand size XX will fit. The fit is vital to e-commerce success.

Today, many brands do not have their own pattern making team; they rely on offshore vendor partners to do the full development process. The brand has become more a design, marketing and distribution organisation, so how do they maintain their brands fit? They have a base size spec, mannequins’ and a fit model who are defined as the standard size, but will this give you consistent fit?

Brands that don’t manage patterns, regularly change vendors to get the best price or to offset capacity will definitely run into challenges on fit. The supply chain becomes a revolving factory base dictating the shape and sizing of the brands product based on the skill of the vendor’s patternmaker. If the brand has good technologists fitting product most problems will be eliminated, but at what cost to lead-time and fit consistency? If the brand has one shirt made by supplier XYZ and another made by supplier ABC, consistency of fit may be lost resulting in two shirts not fitting 100% the same where they should. Not to mention differences in construction which block samples will help to streamline.

Core block patterns that reflect specific shapes need to be developed to achieve the best fit guaranteeing consistent throughout the brand. The first step is to define the brand sizing that gives the best fit to your brands target audience, set the core product specification and employ a house model to fit the product on. Based on core shapes and specifications develop samples in the brands base size. This is best achieved engaging the services of a contract pattern maker and sewing service, or a vendor where there is a sustainable relationship, skill and a willingness to share. Revise sampling until perfect, once approved the core pattern blocks are established, the blocks will become the basis of your fit for future product development. New product styles will use a core block shape as the base for the design fit; new shapes will need new blocks established with the process repeated.

Once the pattern blocks are finalised, fit sustainability is assured. But you still need vendors to use the blocks supplied; it is best that all blocks are transferred to vendors in electronic format and that all style technical packs clearly identify the block number that should be used for that style.

A sustainable vendor matrix is critical to a brands quality success; it will ensure product consistence and brand expectations can continuously be improved. But there will be times when vendors need to be changed due to pricing, capacity or technology, having pattern blocks makes this transfer easy with a greater success factor. Core blocks been allocated to new vendors rather than relying on a vendor’s interpretation of the product specification/technical pack is the key. Remember, nobody is built the same, and globally lumps and bumps are very different.

Long-term vendor relationships guarantee sustainable supply, pattern blocks preserve brand fit, a combination of sustainable supply and preserved fit equals experience, great hanger appeal and increased sales.

Is your brand achieving fit and hanger appeal? ID Global Concepts has been designing and managing the apparel technical and development process for many years. We can add value to your brand either through consultancy or management contract to ensure your business is delivering a product that is the right fit for your customer and meets your brand value expectations.

Below are the retailer’s ID Global Concepts have delivered quality apparel and accessories to over the last ten years;

Macy’s, Urban, Sears, Marks & Spencer, Myer, Kmart US & Kmart Australia, Dunnes Stores, Debenhams Monsoon Accessorize, Asos, Witchery, Brown Sugar, RM Williams, Coles, Chloe, John Lewis, Disney, Next, Firetrap, Lonsdale, Postie, ASDA, Harris Scarf, River Island, Tesco, Woolworths, Walmart, Glassons, Babies’R’Us, New Look, Target US & Australia, Primark, David Jones, Best & Less, Sophie, Yakka, Top Shop, BHS, Burlington, BigW, Oasis, JayJays, Blue Illusion, Driza-Bone, Just Jeans, Volcom, House of Fraser, Pumpkin Patch, Suzanne Grae, Pelaco, Laura Ashley, Sportsgirl, Ted Baker, Truetex, TableEight, French Connection

If you would like to learn more or wish to discuss other supply chain opportunities, please email us at info@idgc.co.

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