Israeli company to train garment workers in Far East

“Fashion is now the second most polluting industry in the world, and to fix it, it must go digital. Why make a garment that no one will buy?

Garment workers in Dongguan, China and Dhaka, Bangladesh are learning the skills they need to stay relevant as technology begins to make mass fashion more efficient and environmentally friendly.

“Digi-hub” training centers were created in September in these two key manufacturing regions thanks to a partnership between the pioneer of 3D digital solutions for the fashion industry based in Israel Browzwear and Featuring LTD, the virtual development competence center of global procurement services provider Otto International.

“The intention of Digi-hubs is to take people with a near zero probability of becoming employees in the future of the digital clothing industry and to teach them how to improve their skills and generate professional digital work,” said said Browzwear co-CEO Avihay Feld.

A Digi-hub training center in the Far East. Photo courtesy of Features LTD

The digital switchover started for environmental reasons and was accelerated by the disruption of the global supply chain caused by the pandemic, he explains.

Stay in the game

Mass production of clothing is very resource intensive and causes almost as much pollution as the oil industry. The problem of what to do with discarded clothes is another problem around the world.

“Fashion is now the No. 2 most polluting industry in the world, and to solve this problem it must go digital,” Feld told ISRAEL21c.

“Factories won’t be part of the game if they can’t do that, and to be part of the game they need employees who can do this job. We want to do everything we can to help embrace digitization, not only for our business interests, but to attract more people to the field. “

Avihay Feld, co-CEO of Browzwear. Photo of Elad Baranga

Otto originally designed Digi-hubs to train people in their own partner companies, but soon saw huge demand in the industry.

There is now a waiting list for the hubs, which are equipped with Browzwear software and machines.

Browzwear, appointed to Fortune Impact 20 2021 List, for sustainability, was established in 2000 by Feld and Noam Nevo. Today, its headquarters are in an ecological business park in Hod Hasharon.

“We were not born as a sustainability company, but as a platform for the clothing industry for decision-making, from preproduction to point of sale,” explains Feld. “Over time, we have come to realize that we can do good by doing good.”

Browzwear software creates digital samples for the garment industry. Photo courtesy of Features LTD

More than 650 customers, including Columbia Sportswear and Polartec, use Browzwear’s open platform to streamline processes so they can sell more while manufacturing less and accelerating time to market.

“By going digital, we can not only speed up the sampling process [but] we are able to significantly reduce textile waste, ”explains Sophie Beet, design manager at Stretchline, the world’s largest manufacturer of narrow elastic fabrics.

3D samples disrupt the industry

Fashion decision making has always been based on physical samples, explains Feld.

“The designers draw a sketch, have the sample made in China, and fly it west. Very often, the sample is not approved and is returned by air for rework.

Due to this inefficient system, it takes an average of 50 weeks for a garment to reach the retailer’s shelf.

“At that point, it may already be off trend. This is one of the reasons why 50% of goods end up in landfills, ”explains Feld.

“The coloring processes are polluting to begin with, and then you pollute twice by putting all that new clothes in landfill. “

3D digital sampling is cheaper and takes less time. Photo by Elan Baranga

Browzwear’s technologies can cut time to market by 80%, he says, using a realistic digital sample – a 3D representation of a garment in different colors and sizes. The sample shows exactly how the fabric drapes, among other details.

The 3D sampling shows a garment in different sizes. Image courtesy of Browzwear

“Nothing flies anywhere, and everything is in the cloud. You can start planning your line in a few weeks before you decide to manufacture, ”says Feld.

Manufacture on demand

Mega retailers like Walmart are quickly embracing digital sampling. Among other benefits, it allows instant feedback and quick decision-making, as anyone, anywhere, can participate in discussions about clothing edition and pricing.

The next step will be to introduce the technology to buyers.

Browzwear technology creates digital clothing samples. Image courtesy of Browzwear

“You will be able to see yourself in a digital garment and make the informed decision to buy it,” says Feld.

The garment would only be made after the customer decided to make the purchase. Fashion on demand would significantly reduce waste, pollution and costs.

“In this way, we can realize the dream of selling and then producing,” explains Feld. “Why make a piece of clothing that no one will buy?” “

This brings us back to the Digi-hubs.

These centers train employees of manufacturers and suppliers, as well as individual designers, pattern makers, technical designers and others, to master the technology needed for the fashion industry of tomorrow.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted many inequalities in the global apparel supply chain while showing the importance of digital transformation for the entire industry,” said Sharon Lim, co-CEO of Browzwear with Feld.

“We are incredibly proud to be part of the solution that empowers both businesses and professionals, especially in regions where inequalities have had a disproportionate impact. “

Major brands

Browzwear has around 100 employees, of which 60 are in Israel and the rest in several Asian, European and North American locations.

Browzwear employees in Israel. Photo by Elan Baranga

The company recently closed a $ 35 million funding round led by Radian Capital and Closed Loop Partners. This injection of funds is used to accelerate technological development and business expansion.

“We work with big brands such as Walmart, Target, Nike, Lulu Lemon and Ralph Lauren. Walmart involves all of its suppliers and manufacturing facilities around the world, and this is how our impact is even greater, ”says Feld.

“But there is a huge way to go. We need to involve more fashion market players in the process.

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