“The Metaverse, New technologies and the New Fashion Industry ” (Part 5/8). AI/ AR & 3D Rendering

Nov 14, 2021


Fashion retailers are turning to AI to make their businesses more efficient, replace photoshoots and predict what people want to wear. In January, the start up Finesse, raised $4.5 million to be able to predict fashion trends with AI. They are using AI to trawl through the web to be able to predict what the next trend may be. Once they have the data, they use algorithmic design to quickly produce small runs of clothing within 25 days. Finesse have also moved to 3D modelling software to reduce costs and cut down on sampling (Wired).

Stylumia believes that augmenting human intelligence in a fashion and lifestyle retail for a better world. Their AI and machine learning platform helps fashion and lifestyle brands forecast demand, spot trends, manage inventory and make better business decisions.

Another company at the forefront of this movement is THE YES who are part of a new wave of companies using AI to personalise how we shop online. This is a quiz based shopping app, founded by the former Stitch Fix COO, Julie Bornstein that uses an AI powered algorithm to get to know your personal style and then give you product recommendations from over 250 brands. Akin to a personal shopper really.


The biggest use for AR within the fashion industry is the ability for 3D digital clothing to automatically appear on a person as they move in real time, usually either via their phones but also via laptop or other devices

Snapchat is essentially a camera company who are very much leading the way with AR. Currently worth $2.5 billion they are betting on AR in a big way. In January this year, Snap inc, the parent company of Snapchat, acquired a British artificial intelligence start-up called Ariel AI which focuses on augmented reality. In June, they bought Vertebrae, a company that lets brands create and manage 3D versions of their goods. The idea is that a company can easily upload visuals and other information about an item into Vertebrae and have a 3D version made for shoppers to access, and potentially buy directly, within Snapchat.

During the NextGen conference, Claire Valoti, the VP of EMEA Business Snap Inc, said that 200 million users interact with AR on Snapchat daily and that 1 in 3 of their user base, mainly driven by Gen Z, expects AR to be part of their future shopping experience.

DressX have also recently fundraised to improve their AR, they received a seed round of $2 million from the Artemis Fund, to start testing an app that lets people try on digital clothing in real time, instead of sending in photos to be dressed digitally (Vogue Business).

Although the technology isn’t quite there yet, it’s clear to see the direction the industry is moving. Making virtual try-on more convincing will have a big impact on conversion and return rates. Shopify research found that the use of 3D and AR can reduce returns by up to 40 per cent and increase conversion by 97 per cent. According to Statista, in the US alone, the value of returns reached $550 million in 2020, so the actual monetary return is significant as well as saving in unnecessary returns which rack up the brands carbon footprint.

Retail stores will also benefit from providing the users with an immersive, connected shopping environment.


3D Rendering is a technology that has a multitude of uses, each having a positive environmental impact and that can be used across the whole supply chain to drive efficiencies, from product development, to sizing and to customer engagement. One of the key areas that 3D companies such as Browzwear, CloD3 and Stitch3D are focusing on is product development. The benefits of creating garment visualisations are numerous. Development lead times are shortened by 8 weeks and companies can save up to 60 per cent in fitting fees. It also makes the approval time 28 per cent faster and 3D rendering can reduce the number of actual samples required to 1.

Other companies are using 3D scanning to create the perfect fit. Alvanon, works with retailers to identify the best size and fit for that brand. After a consultation with Alvanon the brands will walk away with their core size defined, a grade rule and body growth chart for sizing up and down, and virtual avatars and corresponding mannequins from which they can create samples. Jason Wang the founder, published that their 3D sizing technology, has helped brands improve their e-commerce conversion by up to 10 per cent and decrease apparel returns by 30 per cent.

Customisation, along with AI and 3D will also be an integral part of the changing fashion industry, large sportswear brands have been offering this service for a few years, but there is one company that is offering a unique proposition. Unspun produces denim that’s customised to the user, you can scan your body by using an app or one of their scanners, then work with Browzwear to develop the perfect fit around the body, you wait for 2 weeks and have your perfect garment.  In September 2021, The Sourcing Journal reported that “Unspun just added more fuel to its fire, the robotics and digital apparel company announced that it raised $7.5 million in seed funding to further its mission of eliminating waste in jeans production”

Another way that 3D rendering can help to eliminate waste, is to test new products without having to physically make a new sample. Retailers can use this technology to gauge the customer demand before producing any physical samples or production.


"The Metaverse, New technologies and the New Fashion Industry " (Part 6/8). On demand manufacturing & microfactories.

This article explores how different approaches to the value chain can help reduce waste and also looks at the micro-factory, an ultimate result of the technical revolution that can help support the value chain in reducing waste and inventory.