The fashion industry is a great sector of the economy for any new technology to thrive in. The reason for that is because the fashion industry is hardly ever likely to experience a drastic downfall. The global economy has not been very stable over the past few decades. Despite that, the fashion industry has remained somewhat immune to the economical turbulence that has affected nearly every single industry in the world. People involved in developing the 3D printing technology should therefore concentrate their efforts on getting some of the major players in the fashion industry to adopt this revolutionary technology and use it to create a new brand of fashion accessories that will overshadow all predecessors.
Mass Customization is the Future of Fashion
Mass customization is going to dominate the fashion world in the future. There will come a time when people will no longer be satisfied with readymade fabrics and garments. Consumers would want to cherish the luxury of being able to personalize their own accessories and clothing, in a way similar to what the celebrities of Hollywood get to do today. Implementing mass customization is going to be an incredibly tough challenged for the fashion industry. The challenge can be made a little easier with the large scale adoption of the 3D printing technology. That being said, the fashion industry is quite far off from reaching its goal of commercializing 3D printed clothing.
It may sound like an easy process, but replacing ordinary clothing with 3D printed clothing in fashion outlets around the world is going to take a significant number of years. The futurists will like to believe that the ability to order items that are personally tailored through 3D scans will inevitably be enjoyed by consumers. One of the reasons why it may take some time to get this concept off the ground is because attempts to create 3D printed clothing usually involve the technique of crafting textiles from rigid thermoplastics, which is not exactly the most ideal solution.
Startup Projects on 3D Printed Clothing
You may have expected some of the biggest names in the fashion industry to be the earliest adopters of the 3D printing technology (as it should be). However, the startups are the ones who are actually doing a more commendable job in this field. A number of startups around the world have tried to incorporate the on-demand customization features of 3D printing into their portfolio. As you would expect, these companies have had different levels of success with their endeavours. In other words, some have done a better job than others. What’s interesting is that the firms have taken different routes to solve the problem. Companies such as Unmade, Knitic and Electroloom have been in the news quite a few times for their projects on 3D printed clothing.
JS Shoes: Classic Line and Love Line
Among all the fashion companies who have tried their hand at 3D printing, JS Shoes seems to be the one that is steering clear of competition with its incredible idea of producing a line of shoes that have been crafted with the help of 3D knitting. Single piece uppers are attached with lowers. The entire combination creates a wonderful pair of 3D knitted shoes that are a comfortable fit for most consumers. At this moment in time, JS Shoes are offering two different variants of their 3D knitted shoes. They have the Classic Line and the Love Line in stock for the consumers. The Love Line comes in colours of the rainbow and is priced at $109 (without personalization). The Classic Line shoes have a simple grey hued exterior with a customizable fun interior colour. You can order a pair of the Classic Line at a reasonable price of $69.
The Degree of Customization
The JS 3D knitted shoes are not completely customizable since they are only available in standard sizes. In other words, the colour of the shoes is the only thing that can be subject to personalization. That being said, it should not take too long for this company to give their consumers the option of picking shoes that are tailor made to fit their feet. What is really missing is the ability to customize the yarn, which is something that the consumers would love to have.
The Next Stage
Not a lot of us are familiar with 3D knitting in an industrial setting. However, as more of these stories come out, it is about time that we broaden the 3D printing horizons and start thinking about how the technology can be incorporated in different sectors of the manufacturing industry. The next stage is for companies like JS Shoes to bring dying and unique shapes into the equation. Once that is accomplished, it would be fair to say that 3D printing has facilitated unrestrained customization in the world of fashion accessories.