3D is the Solution to a More Sustainable Fashion Industry and This is Why 

If you work in the fashion industry, you know the amount of time and materials required to develop a new garment and get it to market. The constant communication between designer and factory about pattern development, fit, choice of materials, and colour result in an excess of samples and consumption of largely unavailable time. Many concepts get stuck in the development cycle and never even make it to the consumer's eyes. The materials consumed in the sampling process along with energy, water, and shipping fuels take their toll on the environment.


Finding a solution to design a more sustainable garment is more than just making smarter choices in fabrics, trims, and manufacturing sources. The entire design and development process can be made more sustainable.

Using digital design tools is the solution. These tools allow designers to create and develop in a 3D virtual environment which can not only reduces a fashion brand’s carbon footprint but can greatly improve development and lead times too! The challenge is understanding how to embed this approach into your existing operating model and knowing what tools and processes fit best with your company’s existing structure, operations, and growth aspirations. TPC has been successfully working with US and European retailers on doing exactly this.


3D tools allow you to make better decisions without wasting materials

3D gives designers and pattern makers the power to develop ideas in a 360 space with a more accurate representation of their ideas and concepts (as opposed to traditional flat CAD drawing, or draping with real materials). 3D helps identify flaws in flat pattern, graphic placement, and scale before a physical sample is made. An accurate pattern and tech pack are created through this process, resulting in huge savings of time, money, and resources. Working digitally has a significant environmental impact not only through the reduction of prototype production but also the often global distribution of multiple approval samples. All digital development can also be archived, therefore if a concept isn't adopted in season, the 3D asset can always be re-purposed for a later collection.

Many companies such as Adidas and H&M have successfully addressed their carbon footprint by reducing their physical samples through digital development.

3D tools allow for efficient communication

Much of the development process is managed by geographically dispersed partners. When being onsite is required to complete a task, commuting alone can take its toll on the environment. Using 3D in the design process provides an effective tool for communicating ideas, development, and adoption without needing to be in a physical space. When ideas are already digitized, communication is a breeze with the use of built-in collaboration platforms; digital assets can easily be marked up, commented on, and shared for wider perspective and input. Many of our clients have prioritized streamlining the reviews and approval process through digital distribution and have leveraged the benefits for specifically tight deadlines.



3D tools provide assets for virtual fashion shows and presentations

When 3D assets are created and adopted they can then be used in all stages of manufacturing, merchandising, and selling. This reduces time and content costs for planning retail sales environments and is also beneficial in the assorting and merchandising stages. Using assets to create visually appealing customer or channel assortments is helping brands to optimize their offers and impact their costs and efficiencies.

There certainly are costs associated with using 3D to create virtual fashion shows and photoshoots. However, when 3D teams can work and collaborate remotely, create digital environments, and share visual plans, runways and sets can be avoided (or minimized) which is a huge win for our environment

Models aren’t out of jobs either, in fact, they have more opportunity by having the ability to license out their avatars for virtual replications which also extends their reach to clients and allows them to be in multiple places at a time.


With 3D, your imagination is the only limitation and you can dream big without impacting the environment. In a world where space and resources are limited, it’s a no-brainer to start on your 3D journey today!

At Thought Provoking Consulting we can guide you on your 3D journey. With our extensive industry experience and knowledge of 3D digital tools, we will ensure you make the right decisions for your business aspirations. Sustainability is top of mind with our clients and is providing a competitive advantage through differentiation. A sustainable approach can help companies improve margin, increase customer goodwill, and aid employee engagement.

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