How 3D Printing Is Revolutionizing Fashion

3d printing

There’s a much more efficient way to share fashion collections now and it all lies in the ability to 3D print.

3D printing is becoming more mainstream as each year passes. The concept itself tested on building models by scientists and architects for decades, and now we have the chance to witness its potential. While there are many ways 3D printing can show off its ability, one fascinating way is its effect on the world of fashion.

Around 2011, designers began to experiment. In 2013, brands such as Hot Pop Factory printed Jewelry and New Balance started printing shoes. You’re probably wondering about clothing at this point, right? Well, San Francisco-based clothing company, Continuum, was among the first to experiment with 3D printed wearable pieces. Customers were allowed to design bikini’s on the brand’s website, specifying their body shapes and measuring. In January 2013, designer Iris van Herpen put the material to the test at her Voltage Fashion Week show, raising many eyebrows at Paris Fashion Week.

Iris van HerpenIris van Herpen

Printing at home saves a lot of grief from buying clothing only to take the pieces to a tailor. By 3D printing becoming more prevalent in the fashion industry, consumers will be able to buy pieces tailored directly to their needs. Not to mention the amount of underpaid labor by factory workers hopefully diminishing and the weight lifted off of the designer’s shoulders.

The 3D printing industry brings an entirely new meaning to fashion on demand. High-end labels will be able to cut down on the time spent to make each piece for runway shows, some of which only have a few weeks to pull together. Fashion students can print their collections in the privacy of their room, avoiding long walks home after hours of sewing.

Does 3D printing mean that traditionalism will ultimately diminish? Absolutely not! But, it does offer a solution to a lot of problems, revolutionizing the way fashion looks, even on the runway.

Shonette Reed

Fashion Writer

Shonette Reed is a Los Angeles based blogger and journalist with a journalism and integrated Media degree from Biola University. She has worked in the fashion industry as a freelance writer for ForHarriet.com and a public relations intern for Liberate Apparel. Her main goal in the fashion industry is to continue to bring more women of color to the media, showing that the fashion industry has diversity worth celebrating.