05 Dec 2019
CIEL Textile

Aquarelle Group: 3D Virtual Design & Sampling

The fashion industry is known to be a fast-evolving one and this gives rise to a constant need for evolution and innovation. The reduction of production lead time and costs are key problems in such an industry. The Aquarelle Group, proud winner of the Best Quality Circle Award at the CIEL Innovation Awards 2019, has thus proposed a time- and cost-saving solution: 3D Virtual Design and Sampling. This method uses cutting-edge 3D technology from the designing of a garment all the way down to the retailing process.

How is the Virtual Design and Sampling method an innovation?

Keeping up with the trend can prove to be quite expensive for any textile manufacturer. The design process can be lengthy between the manufacturer and the client, as sampling orders are created and developed according to their preferences. After 2 years of technological exploration and operations, Aquarelle Group's dedicated team, consisting of 3D artists, garment techs, designers, consultants among others, has revolutionised the fashion industry in Mauritius.

The Virtual Designing and Sampling (VDS) aims at changing the traditional processing pattern, whereby the customers can visualise and select the design of the items that suit them. Using the 3D sampling, which is a true-to-life 3D garment simulation, the customers can now virtually select the customisable item, which will then be manufactured. This success has been made possible thanks to the strong partnership with CLO, a 3D fashion design software program which is also used in both gaming and movie industries.

Optimising the Production Chain

From its conception to the stores, the traditional production cycle of a garment is a considerably long one: designing, manufacturing and shipping processes adding up to approximately one year. The average product development time of one sample in the traditional production cycle is around 4 to 6 months. This extended period of time usually fails to satisfy the demands of retailers and modern consumers.

However, with the 3D technology, the product development time can be significantly reduced from 4-6 months to 2 to 3 weeks and the average lead time for one sample is reduced from 4-5 weeks to 2-3 days. This visual tool thus maximises Aquarelle Group's productivity. Moreover, it offers a range of possibilities for the clients as this sampling method has expanded design options and capabilities.

A Game-Changer in Terms of Profit

In this cost-sensitive industry, optimising the chain value is a must. To date, 90% of Aquarelle Group’s clients have been introduced to the 3D services, of which 40% have already ordered a 3D collection. This evolution has also boosted Aquarelle's brand equity and transformed their partnership positioning. 

Towards a greener production chain

In line with the Group’s commitment, the VDS will help reduce the carbon footprint tenfold, from 2.1 kg to 0.2 kg per piece. This demonstrates Aquarelle Group’s engagement to embrace a more sustainable future through constant innovation.