Shen Hang’s admiration for the apparel industry began from a young age, whilst out shopping with his mother in Jiangsu and Zhejiang, a central area for the domestic textile industry. Since then, he has continuously kept up-to-date with various apparel brands, gaining a deeper understanding of clothing and its construction. “I remember looking at clothes in stores, and thinking to myself, it would be great If I could make clothes that could take pride in wearing, without having to choose from a variety of styles that to me, were outdated,” says Shen Hang.
He then went on to pursue his passion, majoring in Fashion Design at Anhui Technology University. During his studies, Hang became increasingly interested in pattern making, and the technical aspects of garment creation.
“The relationship between the designer and the pattern maker, for example, is like an actor and the people who work behind the scenes,” says Shen Hang. “From a piece of cloth, a piece of paper, or even a simple idea, to a three-dimensional garment, it takes a lot of steps to go through, and pattern making plays a pivotal role in it,” he adds. “Designers and pattern makers work together, to turn abstract ideas into actual existence. Through the understanding of human body characteristics, the clothing pattern maker combines clothing pattern making technology and design inspiration to create more stylish clothing,” says Shen Hang.
As Shen Hang launched into his pattern-making making career, he often ran into situations where multiple iterations were needed to finalize a design following the vision of the designer, resulting in extended lead times, as well as fabric waste. “The traditional design-making process needs to go through multiple stages such as cutting, pattern making, sampling, approval rounds, and more. It is not only inefficient, the manpower and material resources consumed throughout the processes, are simply unimaginable,” says Shen Hang.
As Shen Hang looked for ways in which he could combat these tedious and time-consuming day-to-day challenges to conduct a more streamlined workflow, he came across Browzwear’s 3D apparel solution. With Browzwear’s VStitcher, he was able to create and experiment with different sizes, artwork printing, fabrics, swatches, styling, and real-time 3D rendering to create a richer variety of styles and make adjustments within seconds. “There is no longer the need to make one change, and then the other, all of your changes can be implemented with the click of a button,” says Shen Hang. By shifting to 3D, Shen Hang could bring all of his ideas closer to reality through accurate 3D garment creation, fitted on a lifelike avatar based on human measurements. “Digital product creation works to minimize inventory backlogs from the source, and reduce slow-moving inventory that simply goes to waste every year,” he adds.
“3D garment design ultimately alleviates the entire industry’s inventory pressure. With 3D, designers don’t need to conduct so many iterations, nor do they need to produce an abundance of physical samples,” says Shen Hang. In fact, he notes that companies can reduce by at least 80% by shifting from 100% use of physical samples to virtual digital samples
At present, the textile and garment industry has become the world’s second most polluting and water-consuming, denim production being one example. “The various washing and bleaching processes required to create a pair of jeans leads to damaging environmental implications,“ notes Shen Hang. Thus, more and more apparel brands are adopting more environmentally sustainable methods to secure a greener future for the industry. By leveraging true-to-life 3D technology to replace traditional physical samples with digital samples the environmental impact of production and disposal of samples can be reduced drastically. As Shen Hang says, “digital fashion is the new sustainable fashion.”
In 2020, when the pandemic hit, everyone was forced to work remotely, which greatly inconvenienced Sheng Hang’s day-to-day work. However, with the help of Browzwear, Shen Hang and the rest of the team were able to take advantage of barrier-free communication. “With Browzwear’s showcasing capabilities and Stylezone platform, designers can communicate online, check patterns, confirm samples, and make the final decision, without the need for in-person meetings,” says Shen Hang.
The apparel industry is undergoing significant change, and apparel professionals are also beginning to seek new methods and technologies to stay ahead of the game. With solutions like Browzwear, apparel organizations can further accelerate the industry’s digital transformation both within China and globally.