Technology, innovation and design in apparel supply chains

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

An insightful panel discussion moderated by GT Nexus Founder, Vice Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer Kurt Cavano was held on the topic ‘Technology, Innovation and Design in apparel supply chains,’ featuring Orient Design Chairman Gihan Nanayakkara, Knickerbox Co-founder Janie Schaffer, [TC]2 Chief Executive Officer Dr. Michael Fralix, MAS Holdings Chief Growth Officer Nathan Sivagananathan and Timex Group Chairman Ashraf Sattar. At the discussion, Cavano asked each of them to define innovation in their own words. “Innovation starts with curiosity. Most of the innovations are accidental and ground-breaking marketing methods are used to sell these innovations. At recent times the word ‘innovation’ has been bandied around and has become a buzz word in many industries,” stated Schaffer. Dr. Fralix said: “Innovation needs to be used inside the industry as well as outside the industry. The biggest innovations come from an open mind. Most innovations leverage an existing industry. At this point knowing the industry and collaborating the innovations and technologies are of utmost importance.” “MAS Holdings’ ethos in innovation runs back to 26 years. In order to innovate, we try and understand the consumer and study the consumer’s behaviour. We also consider the consumer’s brand loyalty and their usage of social media to innovate our products,” Sivagananathan said. Sattar, a supplier turned retailer, stated: “A fashion retail store focuses on sensuality. We got into the retail sector when we ran out of innovative ways of marketing our supplies as manufacturers and that frustration led us to launching our own fashion retail. By doing so we have learnt a lot on innovation.” “The design perspective of innovation differs according to the time and need. As designers we have to continuously innovate; come up with innovative methods and designs to sustain our business,” Nanayakkara concluded.