Kicking off the process with a block-driven approach, the company is now looking to expand the usage of 3D per product category.
About MAS Intimates
As the largest subsidiary of MAS Holdings , MAS Intimates is a leading provider of design and manufacturing solutions for leading global lingerie brands, including Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein, Gap, and more. With design and development hubs in New York, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, and London, and manufacturing facilities across Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia, MAS Intimates has onboarded over 34 brands to digital product creation as part of their mission to revolutionize traditional lingerie production .
The Need for 3D
As forward-thinkers, the Digital Transformation team at MAS Intimates is constantly looking for new ways to push the boundaries of conventional intimates manufacturing. By veering away from mass production, they create a flexible and agile way of working that will result in less waste and faster production while maintaining higher-quality products.
In 2010, the team began to explore the concept of 3D apparel design to drive innovation across different departments and establish a digital workflow for prototype creation. The company also saw 3D as an opportunity to focus on enabling their customers to engage in and adopt digital workflows to speed up responses to customer requests while presenting new collections without depending on the availability of physical samples.
By collaborating with Browzwear as their strategic digital transformation partner, MAS Intimates was ready to bring their customers a holistic digital solution that would ultimately reshape their entire business model. “Our customers’ go-to-market needs are of the utmost importance to us at MAS Intimates,” says Jehan Jayasuriya, CMO, MAS Intimates. “Therefore, as innovators in the industry and change-makers, it is our mission to ensure that we are fully equipped with the right technology that enables them to achieve their goals.”
Co-creating for Thinx Reusable Underwear
A priority for MAS Holdings is partnering with apparel brands that are looking to scale and enable them to unlock opportunities to drive efficiency through innovation. Back in 2021, Thinx Underwear, an MAS customer specializing in feminine hygiene panties with signature built-in period protection, looked to get their products to market faster and create more agile processes for product development and garment prototyping. Considering the complexity of such highly engineered garments, each sample requires immaculate detail regarding its construction, style, print placement, and aesthetics.
As the brand hadn’t yet ventured into Digital Product Creation, Nashad Rilwan, Product Creation Lead at MAS Intimates, walked through a few use cases with Thinx, highlighting the value that digital apparel workflows bring to the table and how customers leverage 3D on a day-to-day basis.
Building New Workflows
Once the MAS Thinx Development team, led by Eraj Kuruppu , had successfully onboarded Browzwear’s 3D design software, VStitcher, with the support of the Central 3D Team, the next step was all about building trust in the digital prototype. To do so, the team began an internal trial, selecting a few styles from different collections, simulating the garments in 3D, and comparing them with the physical product.
Following the initial trial phase, the Digital Transformation team created a customized avatar based on live fit measurements to model the underwear for Thinx, that would best represent their target audience. Throughout the process, both teams brainstormed and came up with new ideas on how to best approach a potential new way of working and achieve the brand’s desired results, from color through to aesthetics. As a result, the number of iterations and time taken to create each sample significantly reduced with each trial. “As we became more familiar with the 3D solution, we were able to build and adjust patterns, ensure the fit was balanced and comfortable, create artwork, print positions and colorways with ease, and get a great visualization of the final product before even making an initial sample,” says Oxana Razdoldki, Director of Technical Design, Thinx.
To facilitate effective collaboration and consistency when it comes to submitting digital prototypes to the customer, both the internal and external teams established a standardized process. This included drawing up guidelines around the avatar’s positioning, pattern placement, camera angles, lighting, and more to ensure that all requirements are met with each submission. After conducting several trial rounds, it wasn’t long before digital product creation became a comfortable and natural part of the product development process, with 3D garment requests as the norm. “In collaboration with the Browzwear team, we were able to make a customer who was entirely new to the digital world comfortable utilizing 3D for product development,” says Nashad Rilwan, Product Creation Lead at MAS Intimates.
The Impact of 3D
Since its initial onboarding phase, 3D continues to make its way through the product development process, digitizing an increasing number of traditionally time-consuming and wasteful tasks, including converting 80% of physical colorways samples to 3D, and in certain product categories, the color and concepting phases are conducted entirely digitally. For repeated styles, often, the sample can go directly into the fit stage without requiring a single physical sample beforehand. Such processes have enabled lead times to be shortened by as much as 5 weeks, cutting the number of days down from 46 to just 9 days. “As opposed to the traditional back and forth of sampling, 3D allows you to work that same digital asset from start to finish to ensure that you get your sample right the first time around each time,” says Nashad.
The Next Steps
After the initial success of implementing 3D workflows into the product development process, in collaboration with the MAS Intimates and Browzwear teams, Thinx looks to steer its digital roadmap toward integrating 3D technology across the entire product lifecycle, from concepting to prototyping.
For MAS Intimates, collaboration is the key to success. “Browzwear’s technology helps increase collaboration and fluid communication throughout the organization, from the executive board to the end consumer. As a result, our clients get better results with on-point strategic thinking and speedy execution,” says Tharindu Meemaduma, Director of Innovation, MAS Intimates.
As the Digital Transformation team at MAS Intimates gears up to onboard more of their clientele to 3D, their mission is to unlock the next tier of digital twin technology and continue to drive change across the apparel intimates’ market with a digital-first approach. “Shifting to a 3D solution like Browzwear goes beyond downloading software. In the end, it’s not only changing the way we do business, but it’s reshaping the entire industry over time. As innovators, we share the same mission of revolutionizing the apparel industry as we know it. We’re looking forward to what’s next on our digital journey,” adds Kaveen Ratnaweera, Digitalization and Strategy Lead, MAS Intimates
Benefits of 3D for Thinx
Lead time shortened by 5 weeks (46 to 9 days)
80% of physical colorways samples converted to 3D
Visualize the final product before sample production
Easily adjust and perfect the patterns
“Our customers’ go-to-market needs are of the utmost importance to us at MAS Intimates. Therefore, as innovators in the industry and change-makers, it is our mission to ensure that we are fully equipped with the right technology that enables them to achieve their goals.”
“As we became more familiar with the 3D solution, we were able to build and adjust patterns, ensure the fit was balanced and comfortable, create artwork, print positions and colorways with ease, and get a great visualization of the final product before even making an initial sample.”
“Shifting to a 3D solution like Browzwear goes beyond downloading software. In the end, it’s not only changing the way we do business, but it’s reshaping the entire industry over time.”
“In collaboration with the Browzwear team, we were able to make a customer who was entirely new to the digital world comfortable utilizing 3D for product development.”