Kinetic Colorization Helps Shorten the Supply Chain

A new demand manufacturing technology offers an option for domestic apparel retailers and brands that want to streamline their supply chains. The goal of “demand manufacturing” is to shorten the supply chain such that retailers can operate on a real-time basis and project orders to match sales, as the key to ensuring profits is manufacturing goods based on consumer demand rather than forecasts.

Instead of depending on cheap labor from overseas manufacturers, retailers and apparel manufacturers can use new short-run demand-activated coloring and printing technology developed by Katmandu Partners LLC and Critical Mass. Kinetic Colorization, suitable for both long and short production runs, works by triggering the energy stored in high-tech fabrics to create microtunnels that funnel the dye through the center of the fiber without using water or toxic chemistry.

Katmandu offers low minimum orders and flexible style contracts, and targets the dye, print and imprint forecasting risks and color matching limitations that have hindered some companies’ ability to design and offer unique products. By enabling smaller runs prior to large-scale production and with the ability to test color, the technology offers designers a great deal more flexibility.

Production and color can be changed on the fly so that customers can sample many variations of the basic styles, without the high costs of sample production. This makes it possible for customers to do an initial run small enough to gauge consumer demand before committing to large production runs necessary to service volume market demand.

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