Based at Fashion-Enter’s London headquarters, the project is aimed at demonstrating to brands and retailers how microfactories can be developed for apparel and garment manufacturing in the UK, using the latest technology and advanced workflow processes.
Earlier this month Zund installed a loaned D3 single-ply cutter at the site, which is aiming to be a centre of excellence for sampling, grading, and production, and for learning and development of skills within the fashion and textiles industry.
The D3 will work alongside a Kornit Presto that was installed last month to enable Fashion-Enter to rapidly deliver test-and-repeat small product runs on behalf of online fashion retailer Asos.
Zund said the D3 cutter delivers “ultimate performance and productivity with two cutting beams operating simultaneously, with sophisticated nesting algorithms increasing material yield and helping to keep production costs low”.
A spokesperson for Zund told Printweek it would be “the digital cutting partner of choice for all microfactory orders that are rolled out across the UK”.
“The project will encourage onshoring garment manufacturing with a proof of concept for the fashion industry – a microfactory production centre empowering localised partnerships with designers, more end-to-end fulfilment control with a single site, no minimum order quantity requirements or dealing with complex international supply chains.
“The factory will have an ethical open-door policy and the concept can be expanded to a distribution manufacturing model, whereby producers can fulfil from multiple manufacturing hubs across different regions, while ensuring process and product are consistent at every site.
“We believe this concept has the potential to revolutionise the UK garment manufacturing industry with the execution of Brexit, together with ever-increasing demand for flexible, on demand and personalised apparel products.”
Fashion-Enter CEO Jenny Holloway added: “In light of the recent unprecedented demand for ‘make in the UK’, the timing of our unique partnership is excellent.
“In the last week alone, we have had five major retailers and e-tails contact [Fashion-Enter] for speed of response fashion and now, thanks to Zund’s outstanding cutting technology we can commit to leaner and more efficient manufacturing.
“Zund is particularly effective on one piece flow which is the future of garment manufacturing working within the parameters of a microfactory, which in time we will extend to our Welsh site too in Newtown Powys.”