Fabric printing supplier Kornit has teamed up with digital cutting company Zund and London-based manufacturer Fashion Enter to set up an innovative micro-factory concept that combines printing, cutting and sewing with application to ignite fashion creativity and drive lasting change.
“The goal is to show designers, retailers and buyers a new way forward in today’s fashion: minimal inventory, print on demand and allowing consumers to drive sales rather than retailers drive sales to the end user,â says Jenny Holloway, CEO. mode Enter.
Drapers sits down with Robert Zoch, Kornit’s Global Head of Content, Gaj Jeevanandan, Zund’s Head of Marketing, and Holloway to find out how the concept empowers the industry through its automated, streamlined, on-demand end-to-end process.
How would you describe the partnership between Kornit, Zund and Fashion Enter?
Robert Zoch: At Kornit, we offer world-class printing capability. Zund offers world-class precision cutting. Fashion Enter offers a world-class production and teaching facility that demonstrates the capabilities of digital to revolutionize fashion through a fast, efficient, and on-demand production strategy. Combined, this eliminates the barriers between designers and implementation; eliminates waste; optimizes profitability; generates more products with fewer resources; brings production closer to the end consumer; avoid supply chain disruptions; optimizes process transparency and control; and otherwise proves that a print-cut-sew process doesn’t need to be complicated, inflexible, or limiting the brilliant designs that can result. This partnership aims to give designers, brands and producers the tools and confidence to meet the dynamic demands of an e-commerce marketplace with the digital capabilities to meet those challenges.
Jenny Holloway: I would describe the partnership as a meeting of minds. We all have this mindset that we are determined to be positive disruptors and constantly seek to challenge the status quo.
Gaj Jeevanandan: Our collaboration is aimed at brands and distributors. We want to show them how they can create a sustainable manufacturing facility in the UK. We believe that manufacturing garments overseas will support the growing trend towards ethical production to order and significantly reduce landfill waste.
Tell us about the micro-factory concept.
ZR: It’s really very simple: we bring together the entire end-to-end production process under one roof, from ideation to shipping a finished product. As we only make what we sell, this highly digitized production model generates a healthy profit margin in any environment, including London, where real estate is at a premium.
GG: The micro-factory was introduced to show a new way in ethical clothing manufacturing, using the very latest in printing technology from Kornit, digital cutting from Zund and a team of skilled seamstresses from Fashion Enter. The âmicroâ element refers to the highly flexible nature of production facilities and the relatively small footprint required, giving the retailer or brand the ability to seamlessly facilitate on-demand production once orders are received. directly from customers.
Tell us about Kornit’s Presto Max and the direct-to-fabric approach.
ZR: The Kornit Presto Max is a system that allows direct digital decoration on fabric in a single step. It is compatible with several types of fabrics, natural and synthetic, using a single set of inks, offering a low and constant cost per print for profitability whatever the quantity. It is the first roll-to-roll pigment printing mechanism designed to print white on dark fabrics and print vivid colors on dark fabrics using white as a base.
It uses less energy and less water, and generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than any comparable production mechanism, thus providing a lower carbon footprint.
As the heart of a micro-factory production model, it offers push-button readiness for a fast and efficient print-cut-sew process that can reproduce any digital image or pattern, match n any color and provide wash, rub and fade fastness to meet any brand’s durability needs.
What are the differences between direct-to-fabric printing and direct-to-garment printing?
ZR: Direct-to-fabric printing is printing on whole fabrics, which will usually be cut, as with Zund cutting systems, to then be sewn or otherwise shaped into different garments. Direct-to-garment is the printing of a finished piece: you take a blank t-shirt, jacket, hoodie, pants or other piece of clothing and decorate it.
Automation is at the heart of Flashtech Innovation Center. Is it this future ?
ZR: Absolutely. Automation means producing faster, with precision, and a streamlined process that meets the needs of creators, brands, and consumers as efficiently as possible, delivering a superior experience for all parties along the value chain.
Likewise, on-demand production is key to the project. Why is this becoming increasingly important?
JH: Why would a retailer devote much-needed funds to predicting and forecasting trends when they can literally test trends on the web with prints and colors and manufacture on demand? No waste and no excess stock, which of course will then reduce landfills and waste.
RZ: On Demand eliminates so much waste from the fashion industry because you’re removing overstock from the equation. It replaces long, forecast-based production cycles with fast, responsive, demand-driven production agility. You replace “what you think the market may want down the line” with “what the market is actually asking for right now”, in many cases allowing producers to only create what has already been sold. It’s much better suited to today’s hyper. – a connected, web-centric economy in which consumers expect instant gratification, personalization, variety and, in many cases, personalization.
How does it actually work?
JH: We have already worked with Asos on this model, and we managed to print on a wave green viscose elastane top and dress. It sold out in three days and we honestly think it was because the print was so good for the time. We were all totally aligned on the style and from the concept of the garment to the finished garment and delivery, the total lead time was 15 days.
How does the partnership between Kornit, Zund and Fashion Enter help brands to be more sustainable?
ZR: In addition to using inks and consumables that meet the rigorous safety and eco-conscious standards of the world’s best-known brands, such as Nike and Adidas, it is made-to-order production. When you only make what you sell, you’re not making something that will end up in a landfill. You’re not predicting the market, then shrinking the product until it’s finally unloaded – you’re making exactly what people want.
The micro-factory model and proximity production approaches eliminate logistics and transportation waste. We empower creators and brands to improve their sustainability practices without sacrificing quality or creativity. In terms of the role we play, Kornit systems provide the enduring foundation that Fashion Enter and Zund then benefit from – if you only print the materials needed, you only cut those materials to specification, and you are only processing and ship orders for these materials. It is a cost effective and efficient delivery model that is inherently environmentally friendly.