As consumers, our expectations are changing rapidly - not only around what we want to buy, and where and how we buy it - but increasingly around how it is made, and what it says about the personal brand many of us attempt to curate. This is particularly true in the apparel and footwear industry where style, fit and availability are key factors in our purchase decisions. So, it is no surprise that in this industry customization and personalization is highly attractive. It is also no surprise that this is highly challenging to achieve in an industry largely built to mass replicate styles globally.
In my role as head of Innovation for Avery Dennison’s Retail Branding and Information Solutions business, I work with many leading apparel and footwear brands to create the next set of industry solutions in labeling, packaging and embellishments. I also work with many garment and footwear manufacturers around the world to ensure that what we create provides aesthetic appeal, as well as incremental value throughout the supply chain. Finding solutions that meet the needs of brands, retailers and manufacturers is challenging and often requires a system thinking approach. Designing solutions that reduce steps in the apparel or footwear manufacturing process or delay product differentiation can save time, reduce inventories and makes products more sustainable - all great value propositions for manufacturers - while making products more readily customizable.
Avery Dennison is a company with an eight decades long track record of innovation, having ourselves been founded by a pioneer, R.Stanton Avery, who created the pressure-sensitive label industry. We believe in anticipating market needs and combining intellect and imagination to innovate solutions and create new possibilities. And we are a company that continues to evolve - even in our approach to innovation - as industries that we support are dynamic and fast paced. We recognize that we cannot do it alone, and like many organizations, are increasingly collaborating with other companies - big and small - to elevate the industry through innovation.
It is for this reason that I am delighted to announce our strategic partnership with Softwear Automation, an Atlanta, USA,-based company, that is disrupting the sewn products industry by creating autonomous sewn good worklines for Home Goods, Footwear & Apparel. Its fully autonomous SEWBOT® allows manufacturers to SEWLOCAL™, moving their supply chains closer to the customer while creating higher quality products at a lower cost. This, in turn, opens up more opportunities for brands and retailers to offer customization and personalization to consumers.
We have had some highly engaging and innovative brainstorm sessions with the team at Softwear Automation. Together, we are looking at how we can integrate Avery Dennison solutions with their autonomous SEWBOT® and further expand our joint capabilities to open up wider opportunities for our industries.
Both in my role at Avery Dennison and as a consumer who has high expectations from the garment industry, I am very excited about what this partnership will bring, and look forward to sharing more details over the coming months.