Gokaldas Exports is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of apparel in India, delivering fashion products for some of the world’s most reputable brands since 1979. With over 32,000 employees across over 20 production units, the company prides itself on its product, performance, processes, and people to drive responsible innovation, quality, and consistency. Gokaldas Exports is also known for its longstanding commitment to sustainability by implementing a technology-driven approach to each stage of the manufacturing process with the broader goal of reducing its carbon footprint.
The Need for 3D
As part of the company’s mission to create a cleaner and greener environment, the management team at Gokaldas Exports investigated the different ways of building a resilient sustainability platform that would enable them to minimize as much waste as possible across the product development process. With a forward-thinking approach, the team turned to technology and innovation as the key ingredients to change, exploring various digital apparel solutions that would tackle the waste challenge, while addressing key goals, including fit accuracy, improving product quality, shortening go-to-market time, and reducing production costs. “As a company committed to consistent innovation, our ultimate goal was to digitize all aspects of our business operations, from planning and marketing through to production,” says Usha Nandini, Vice President of Operations, Gokaldas Exports.
Back in 2007, Gokaldas Exports began their 3D onboarding journey with Browzwear, which had come highly recommended by several of their customers who were already leveraging Browzwear’s 3D fashion design software within their day-to-day operations. “We were drawn to Browzwear’s technology after witnessing the true-to-life capabilities it provides when it comes to the drape of a garment and the ability to get as close to the design intent without the need for physical resources,” says Usha.
Incorporating VStitcher into the product development workflow at Gokaldas would enable them to digitize much of the development sample creation process and interact with the garments digitally to conduct iterations without having to utilize fabrics or ship samples back and forth.
Building New Digital Processes
With the guidance of Browzwear’s 3D support team, Gokaldas’ in-house pattern technicians began training in Browzwear’s 3D apparel design software, VStitcher, learning how to create and construct patterns from scratch before fitting them onto a parametric avatar. To perfect their skills, the pattern technicians began using VStitcher as their go-to concepting tool, experimenting with and creating different mockups digitally before comparing them side by side with the physical sample, identifying where needed improvements or adjustments.
“It wasn’t long before we truly realized the benefits of 3D, especially when creating complex styles, for example, garments that have draping, flounces, and gatherings,” says Usha. “Once you start creating even the most complex of styles digitally, you can tweak them until you get them right before producing a physical sample and ultimately achieve the fit intent that the designers are looking for,” she adds.
As the team became more familiar with the software, they began sharing their knowledge with the rest of the department, while working alongside the design team to create a fluid and efficient internal and external workflow for developing customer proto samples. In addition, they looked into integrating VStitcher with their existing software applications such as Flex and PLM solutions to make their day-to-day work more accessible and manageable.
The Impact of 3D
As 3D continues to make headway across Gokaldas Exports, the company and its customers are already reaping the benefits of shifting to digital. “Using Browzwear’s 3D design solutions, we can design a style and achieve 100% fit accuracy for that sample,” notes Ashok A.S, CAD Manager, Gokaldas Exports.
In fact, in several cases, the company has managed to reduce the number of development samples sent out to customers by a remarkable 30% as well as a 50% reduction in internal design samples. “By working in 3D as opposed to the traditional way, the designer can see exactly what works and what doesn’t in minutes and get a clear understanding of each style from a design point of few, with the ability to make any adjustments and visualize them instantly,” says Usha. “With such capabilities, we can rapidly move directly from the 3D development sample to the proto sample without requiring physical resources.”
The Next Steps
As Golkadas Exports looks toward the future, the company plans to further drive 3D across the organization, onboarding more team members to VStitcher and upskilling the in-house design team. In addition, they hope to onboard more thread and interlining suppliers to ensure that all aspects of the physical garment are accounted for digitally, and therefore further reduce the need for physical samples. “We look forward to what newness Browzwear brings to the industry in the near future and are ready to adapt to it,” says Usha.