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10 Sustainable Apparel Design Tips for Jumping Into the World of 3D


Earth Day marks a particularly important day on our calendar as it resonates with our core values as well as our mission to create a greener future for the fashion industry. At Browzwear, our growing community of independent designers around the globe never fails to inspire us with their commitment to constant innovation and digital upskilling in order to achieve sustainable change.

This year, in honor of Earth Month 2022, we turned to our talented Indie Program members to gain insight into how designers who have recently embarked on their 3D journeys can conduct a more sustainable apparel workflow.

Here’s what they had to say:

Tip #1: Replace your traditional sampling methods with digital alternatives

“With 3D fashion design software’s, fashion designers can bring their artwork to the same designs seamlessly. 3D communication functions create opportunities for designers, seamstresses, and tailors to network globally. For example, a customer living in Australia can order a design from our New York-based company website; we can have the design made by the Australian local tailor with our printable 3d pattern and tech pack. Ultimately, 3D CAD technology can help fashion companies eliminate the waste of mass production, while the designers and seamstress artists are valued for creating sustainable beautiful fashion that inspires and uplifts all the people, and brings beauty, fairness, and kindness to our world and the planet in the end.“

Way Zen
United States


Tip #2: Expand your 3D network and collaborate with like-minded users

“Give some consideration to using 3D CAD in your workflow, partner with vendors who are also working towards more sustainable fashion, and start somewhere, even if you start with a small step. 3D is a key tool for sustainable fashion because it helps to reduce the number of fit samples necessary to approve a design to go into production.”

Vanessa Reyes
United States


Tip #3: Think about the entire process and see where to input 3D

“Since I’ve been using 3D fashion design software, VStitcher, I reshaped my brand around it, to make a made-to-order, made-to-measure brand. I produce zero garments that won’t be worn. I also improved my calculation for fabric needs, as it’s easier to calculate how much fabric each pattern needs on the computer rather than at a real scale. And finally, if I get some feedback from a client about a particular fit, I can rapidly adapt the pattern.”

Assia Kara


Tip #4: Adopt a zero-waste mindset

“Eliminate the need to create toiles whenever possible. If your client request to see a sample or fitting. You can always measure the client and make a 3D mannequin based on his/her measurements. You can then proceed to drape your garments on the 3D CAD model of your client. This would solve the client’s request without the need to actually make a real sample. Saving you both materials and time.”

Xiao Yaoquizi


Tip #5: Ensure that your data is accurate

“Before you start creating a virtual sample, make sure to get the most accurate data (model measurements, fabric properties, basic pattern, etc’). That way you’ll receive the best true-to-life virtual sample. And will save, a lot of material and energy waste.”

Tamar Landau


Tip #6: Utilize tension and pressure maps to ensure the garment’s longevity

“Take advantage of the amazing “pressure and tension map” tool. This tool allows you to see where the stress is on the garment, if you need to make changes to the garment for more ease or where to add in additional bar tacking stitching for reinforcement to allow the garment to last longer. Wearing our garments for longer contributes to sustainability.”

Sherri Picciano
United States


Tip #7: Experiment with your designs and don’t be afraid to make mistakes

“It has been helpful to think that working in 3D has allowed me to do everything in my design process that I would historically do by hand, all on one unified software. It’s easy and fast while using less energy and generating less waste. Also, if you make a mistake, you can modify it in less time!”

Juliana Garcia Bello


Tip #8: Focus on the texture and fabric physics of your garment

“Understanding the texture and physics of your fabrics is key to successful garment creation. When working in VStitcher, you can take advantage of accurate fabric digitization and see exactly how the fabric looks and behaves when worn on the body without manually testing the fabrics.”

Mohamad Tarek Islam


Tip #9: Identify your most wasteful practices

“From fit validation and pattern grading to creating denim washes, have a look at what your most wasteful practices are and how they can be digitized. With 3D apparel design, you can conduct real-time changes, variations, and fit of the garment without having to produce physical samples.”

Jagdish Sethuraman


Cathleen Mahoney
United States


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