Education and Technology in the Apparel Industry

Education and Technology in the Apparel Industry

by Dunja Hoejenbos

Session 1 - Education and Technology in the Apparel Industry

Information and Q&A Session
FT Alliance is a major project bringing together educators, large and small brands and fashion technology solution providers. Some of the participants are London College of Fashion (UAL), Technical Universities of Delft (Netherlands), POLIMI Milano and University of Borås (Sweden), Decathlon and PVH. Several intensive workshops have uncovered very interesting insights about the human capital needs created by the digital transformation of the fashion industry.

This session is an exchange of ideas about the interaction between fashion companies and fashion educators in the face of rapid technological change. FT Alliance will share with the audience their findings so far and will ask the audience to actively share their own experiences and questions.


  • 3D design is considered a current and future fashion-tech requirement enabling better interaction between other areas of the business. However, traditional fashion skills are still important and there is an increased need for material  and textile knowledge.
  • New job roles are therefore a mix of completely new functions such as ‘Holographic Specialist’ or ‘ Digital Product Tester’ and a combination of traditional skills in a new context, such as “3D pattern maker’.
  • Collaboration & interdisciplinary skills enables transformative change, creating links within teams that are made of up of mixtures of specialist knowledge, links between teams and links within the supply chain.
  • Roles within product design could evolve to become system designer roles.
  • There is a particular emphasis on the sustainable advantages of pattern designers working within circular teams to develop new business models. Processes to achieve a more circular supply chain must encompass the entire design and development cycle. It is a good example of the learning that achieving greater sustainability means it must be embedded all throughout organisations.
  • Sustainability teaching is still very western oriented and work is needed on developing a more global, industry-wide approach to teaching sustainability
  • Because organizational innovation is so important for transformative change, small companies have an advantage. They can introduce organizational changes must faster and easier than large companies can.