3D Printing In-Store Is Very Close And Retailers Need To Address It

by MR Magazine Staff

A few years ago, the founders of Ministry of Supply were three MIT graduates and students. They asked themselves how they might improve clothing. To answer the question, they didn’t study fashion, they studied the technology of the garments themselves, what they’re made of and how they might be improved. Over time, they used technology to create new garments that are more comfortable and easier to take care of. They also addressed the issue of body temperature, creating clothes that allow you to get cooled down faster when it’s warm and keep you warmer when it’s cold out. Today they have an online business and nine stores across the country. Having started in menswear only, they’ve recently expanded by creating womenswear and it’s becoming an important part of the Ministry of Supply business. Their garments are made with advanced materials that wick away sweat, keep you comfortable and can be machine-washed and wrung out without requiring dry cleaning or professional laundering. And they haven’t stopped. They’re continuing to improve the products and make them work better – new versions are being introduced all the time. All of the above would be interesting enough. But the principals of Ministry of Supply are also addressing the question of garment manufacturing technology. They are moving the Company to become a leader in 3D printing technology by experimenting with in-store automated manufacturing. Last week Ministry of Supply installed a machine in its Boston store that can make a garment on demand in 90 minutes (with finishing done offline after the garment is created). The machine can be set to make garments all day and night or it can be instructed to make a garment to a specific customer’s design, allowing customers to customize the colors they want in the garment. Read more at Forbes.