RETHINKING THE SUPPLY CHAIN

Boston retailer, Ministry of Supply, is taking new steps into mass customisation.  The retailer has invested in a 3D knitting machine, which allows customers to request a totally customised blazer which is then produced in store.  The knitting machine knits the blazer in one piece, meaning there are no seams which makes the garment more durable and reduces fabric wastage.  This nearly entirely cuts out human labour, although buttons still need to be sewn on by hand.  While a mass customisation plan could decrease retailer costs in production, stock holding and overstocking, there is still a lot of question within the fashion industry as to whether mass customisation could ever be a practical solution in a retail environment.  Mid-price luxury customers are increasingly concerned with where their garments were made, durability, quality, and a unique experience (which appeals to the Millennial consumer).  Ministry of Supply is looking to extend their mass customisation to other garments, as well as fully develop the service for their e-commerce store.