With 3D Scanning, Made-to-Measure Clothing Can Finally Become Scalable
The practice of made-to-order (MTO) and made-to-measure (MTM) clothing has existed for centuries. Tailors and dressmakers have been offering custom garments to their clients for hundreds of years, long before off-the-rack clothing even existed. People were accustomed to waiting weeks or even months to receive clothing orders, as the tailoring process involved lengthy steps including taking in-person measurements, carefully selecting fabrics, and cutting and sewing the pieces by hand.
When ready-to-wear clothing was introduced in the 19th century, custom clothing and footwear became increasingly inaccessible to the masses, available only to those who could afford it. Made-to-order and made-to-measure businesses occupied an even smaller niche after the development of fast fashion in the 1990s.
But as new technologies have emerged, it’s now possible for MTO and MTM clothing to be developed using computer-aided design (CAD) and manufacturing (CAM). This streamlines the design and manufacturing process and allows for much faster production, which can help satisfy the modern consumer’s demand for speedy delivery times.
The MTO and MTM business models are also becoming increasingly profitable, especially as compared to ready-to-wear (RTW). An economist from The Interline breaks this down in more detail, noting that “with RTW, 30% of the produced collection remains unsold and thus becomes dead stock.” The dead stock problem, which is only exacerbated by returns, can destroy a RTW company’s bottom line. MTO and MTM do not carry the burden of excess inventory, so there is lots of potential for these businesses to be profitable.
Despite improvements within the production processes and business models of MTO and MTM companies, not much progress has been made to innovate on the measurement process for these brands. Even companies like Indochino and Black Lapel still require a trip to a store to get fitted in person, or rely on customers to measure themselves at home with a measuring tape. It’s an inconvenience to leave home for an online purchase, and self-measuring is notoriously inaccurate, so neither of these are ideal options.
But what if customers could get fitted from the comfort of their home with just a smartphone? NetVirta’s Verifyt technology makes that a reality. Our solution enables customers to simply scan themselves with any mobile phone to receive accurate full-body and foot measurements instantly. For MTO and MTM brands, this is a game-changer – no more waiting around for customers to visit a store or relying on inaccurate measurements from customers.
Now that sizing is no longer a bottleneck thanks to Verifyt, we expect to see more MTO and MTM brands emerge. Accurate and efficient measurement capture has been the missing puzzle piece required to enable mass tailoring – finally, high-quality, affordable personalized clothing and footwear can be made available to the masses. If you are a made-to-order or made-to-measure company that has struggled with the sizing process, we’d love to help. Get in touch here, and we look forward to working together!