For Kornit’s own Sharon Donovich – Marketing Director for digital direct-to-garment and events, the future of direct-to-garment is bright, despite the difficult economic situation around the world. We sat down with Sharon to hear her thoughts on the direction of Kornit and the DTG market as a whole.
How have the past three years changed the value proposition for digital direct-to-garment production?
During the pandemic, many long-established behaviors and circumstances changed:
E-Commerce grew to new and unprecedented levels – DTG helps to support this with the on-demand business model.
Supply chains were disrupted and became extremely expensive – DTG allows on-shoring and production next to the customer.
Labor became challenging for a few reasons – DTG requires less workforce than analogue.
Maintaining inventory levels became an issue due to the previously mentioned supply chain challenges – DTG reduces the need to store pre-made inventory.
What does DTG offer those worried about difficult operational headwinds (supply chain disruption, labor issues, blockchain/human rights concerns, inflation, etc.)?
DTG offers solutions to many of the difficult operational headwinds, the fact that DTG enables on-demand production – where orders are only produced only after being purchased, there’s no need to maintain minimum order quantities. As as a result, there’s also no need to hold huge amounts of inventory and operations can be moved closed to the customer, lowering the need for manpower and the need for the expertise and knowledge, which is crucial for analogue production. All the above is making the ROI and TCO higher today.
What do you say to those who equate going green with shrinking profit margins?
I would say it’s the opposite case, especially when it comes to Kornit DTG technology. The last three years have made transportation, manpower and inventory extremely expensive, causing fulfiller’s profit margins to shrink. With Kornit technology, going green is already embedded in the production process and profit can actually grow.
Why has Kornit focused on collaborating with fashion designers and fulfillers?
We believe that the fashion industry is at an inflection point for few reasons:
As opposed to the past, designers are expected to react faster to new and emerging trends, Kornit’s on-demand production technology allows this
Orders are getting smaller and print runs are shorter – the nature of on-demand production means that short-runs are more cost-effective
Sampling and reordering are now much easier
With the continued importance and power of social media and influencers, more creators want to self-express and Kornit allows fulfillers to cater to this desire
What’s in it for the end-consumer? Why should they care how the products are made?
There are few reasons:
Sustainability – we know that young generations care more about where and how their clothes are produced.
Quality- Kornit offers high quality, unique products that are attractive to end customers (applications like XDi offer a unique selling point to stand out in a crowded market).
Reactivity – Customers want brands to react rapidly to new trends and launch new products fast than ever. Plus, they want fast delivery for near-instant gratification
Personalization and customization – DTG is the only way to get personalized textile products and today with the growing demand for self-expression, this is a must.
We’ve heard talk of “democratizing fashion.” Explain what that means, and the role of DTG in this process?
“Democratizing fashion” is the process of making fashion available for everyone, moving from a model where large brands exclusively hold creative power and redistributing that power to designers and creators. This creates a world where anyone, anywhere can unleash their creativity and create fashion. With DTG, fashion becomes inclusive and sustainable, and supports diversity through the ability to produce on-demand with one-offs and short-runs.
How does digital enable applications that are not possible (or highly impractical) with screen printing, dye sublimation, vinyl, embroidery, or other traditional/analog processes?
With Kornit technology, creativity is unlimited, with no restrictions on designs or the number of colors used. Kornit technology eliminates issues with challenging effects like semi-transparency, blends and photorealistic images. The water-based pigment ink allows decorating any fabric type, natural or synthetics or blended.