Crystal International Group Limited (“CIGL”) was founded in Hong Kong and has been a leader and innovator in garment manufacturing since 1970. The company currently operates in five fashion categories: lifestyle wear, denim, intimates, sweaters and sportswear. Today, CIGL includes 20 self-operating manufacturing facilities spanning five countries. The company’s 80,000 employees deliver over 400 million pieces of apparel each year to best-in-class apparel brands including Uniqlo, Levi’s, Gap, Old Navy, Puma, Under Armour, A&F, Kohl’s and Target.
CIGL has always been forward-thinking when it comes to technology, and its subsidiary company, Crystal Denim, became a Browzwear 3D customer more than 10 years ago with a goal of decreasing physical sample production to save cost and reduce waste. They are always seeking ways to shorten the fit cycle without compromising quality to get their garments to market more quickly.
When they first signed on with Browzwear in 2008, 3D had not yet become an integral part of the design workflow in the industry. In 2017, as the digital workflow became a more common standard in the industry, Crystal Denim researched options and compared solutions from other providers. They ultimately expanded their Browzwear license agreement because of the user-friendly tools, the proven speed-to-market and sustainability. They also created a specialty Virtual Design team to focus solely on becoming experts in 3D design.
3D IN ACTION
“We were ahead of the industry by a few years in terms of leveraging 3D in a digital workflow,” said Miles Lam, Assistant General Manager for Product Development (Denim) at CIGL. “This gave us time to master the tools and get a dedicated team in place to keep up with the demand as it became more popular.”
Currently, Crystal Denim uses Browzwear to make their processes more efficient. With employees spread throughout various manufacturing facilities in several countries, designers in one office can seamlessly share work and get feedback from pattern makers and graphic designers in another location.
“We have found the denim tools to be very user-friendly and specialized for our teams,” said Lam. “We are pleased with how quickly we experienced a 10% decrease in physical sample creation by our team, and the goal for 2019 is to reach a 25% decrease. We are certain that, with Browzwear, we will achieve it.”
The denim group has fully converted to a complete digital workflow with 3D software tools on all co-creation projects with their customers. As of 2019, they also moved to full 3D for all upcoming trend collections, which will be based on a workflow completely free of physical samples.
According to Lam, other teams within the company have seen the advantages of using 3D solutions for their workflows as well. He says that he sees an increase in demand from the market for closer collaboration using 3D technology in the near future.
“Most of our customers have begun to leverage 3D for fitting, which works well in our digital workflow,” said Lam. “Our team relies on 3D for design and enjoys the quick process of sampling and obtaining feedback digitally before producing any physical garments.”