Our monthly newsletter, NewsBytes, summarizes and analyzes key developments and trends in the apparel and footwear industry, including the latest news about online product customization and personalization technology. Our goal: help you stay informed, save time, and sell more!

September 2022 highlights

Meet us in New York — We’re headed to the PI Apparel Supply Chain Forum 2022, Sept. 14-15, to present the findings of a case study of how Embodee’s Orchids web platform helped Norlanka, a global fashion solution firm.

NFTs and revenue — Nike has set a high bar for other brands to achieve. It earned $185.million in sales of  NFTs, half from avatars. Along with other firms, the industry is performing better than big brands in other sectors.

Technology and sustainability — Cleaning up the industry’s significant damage to the environment has become mission-critical, and tech solutions in four categories are central to the efforts, including implementing digital change.

Shape-shifting boots — Newly developed 3D-printed boots naturally mold to feet for an individualized fit and can also change size. While one size likely won’t fit all, making only small, medium, and large might be enough.

By the numbers — a 59.2% increase in global online apparel sales is forecast through 2025, a $25 million investment will grow the use of algorithms in online stores, and fashion chain Ted Baker has sold for $254 million.

August 2022 highlights

Orchids platform improvements — With our fifth update since launching the web platform in March, Orchids keeps getting better and better. Check out some of the latest release’s major changes.

Digital product creation —  An article explores a bigger and broader way to approach the industry’s transition to 3D. It suggests a holistic approach to transforming entire work ecosystems. 

Nike’s new ERP system — The company has started deploying what it calls the “biggest investment in its digital transformation.” The phased rollout is integral to Nike’s ambitious direct-to-consumer online sales strategy.

Plant-based nylon — There’s been major progress in developing an alternative to traditional nylon that’s made with fossil fuels, which would boost the industry’s efforts to reduce its environmental toll on the planet.

By the numbers —  A $30 million investment will help two companies recycle textiles, and The North Face and Sketcher’s report robust quarterly sales as U.S. clothing sales dropped slightly in June.

July 2022 highlights

Read all about it — We’ve published a case study that shows how two Canadian companies collaborated using Embodee’s new Orchids 3D web platform to significantly improve digital product creation.

Digital fashion shows — Digital fashion shows are making more and bolder advances, judging from a recent spate of virtual events that mixed elements of real-world shows and some new twists as well. 

Avatar dress-up — The millions of people who use avatars on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger will be able to outfit their metaverse personas in high style from Balenciaga, Prada, and Thom Browne. 

Climate change clothes — Our rapidly changing climate poses a unique challenge for performance wear brands: how to create apparel that protects people from climate crises while not harming the environment.

By the numbers — The global market for smart clothes could reach $21.9 billion by 2027, long-term contracts for shipping goods by sea soared 156.1% in one year, and a $13 million investment means more kelp-based yarns and fibers.

June 2022 highlights

Digital product creation — This transformative way of working has emerged as business-critical for the industry going forward, and brands and retailers should scale up their strategies.

Digital printing — With delayed shipments from Asia eating profits, the benefits of digital printing look increasingly attractive, including nearshoring of production and on-demand manufacturing.

Serious about sustainability — Morgan Stanley analysts say apparel companies are now not only serious about tackling sustainability but also “seriously innovative.”

Global Fashion Summit — Embodee will attend the leading international forum for sustainability, June 7-8, in Copenhagen. We’ll be discussing our Orchids 3D web platform for creating fashion products. 

By the numbers — Nike has climbed in the prestigious Fortune 500 list, the industry can become 80% circular by 2030, and the global resale market is forecast to grow 127% by 2026.

May 2022 highlights

Orchids updates — More improvements are coming soon to our recently launched Orchids web platform. Follow our LinkedIn page to stay up to date about the latest developments. 

Tech spending surgeFashion companies will double the percentage of revenue devoted to technology by 2030. That’s the eye-popping prediction of “State of Fashion Technology Report 2022.” 

Digital clothing swap — It’s a marketing pitch born from fashion’s digital age: sell physical clothes based on prices set by artificial intelligence and, in return, score virtual apparel to outfit digital personas. 

Changing clothes, virtually — A new digital tool lets people easily expand or contract virtual garments for gaming characters on the popular metaverse platform Roblox. Brands are taking notice.

Tech inroads — The fashion-tech revolution sweeping the industry appears to be slowly breaching the walls of luxury fashion’s global capital, Paris, potentially disrupting traditional design culture.

By the numbers — Inflation jacks up online apparel prices, Columbia Sportswear enjoys a hefty revenue increase with help from Sorel shoes, and investors are bullish on clothes that regulate body temperature.

April 2022 highlights

New VC darlings?Venture capitalists appear to be switching priorities. Instead of investing heavily in direct-to-consumer apparel startups, apparel technology and resale appear to be the new targets.

AR changing shopping — The soaring popularity of augmented reality is increasing apparel sales and cutting returns via AR-enhanced 3D visualizations. Snapchat’s millions of users are a major driver. 

Embracing digital — One of Just Style’s 10 biggest lessons and opportunities from the pandemic caught our eye: “Embracing new digital tools can improve speed to market, costs, and customer satisfaction.”

Big launch news Last month, Embodee hinted about a very big announcement coming soon. And now the news is out: our Orchids web platform for creating fashion products in 3D has commercially launched! 

By the numbers — Global athleisure sales forecast to reach $550 billion in 2025, U.S. online apparel sales expected to hit $130 billion this year, and Nike attains 78% renewable energy usage.

March 2022 highlights

Fitting room upgrades — Brick-and-mortar stores, betting on a return to in-person shopping, are starting to invest in high-tech improvements that include 3D scanners for body measurements.

New eco-friendly materials — The race is on to develop an array of new materials that are animal-friendly, more sustainable, and reduce the industry’s sizable carbon footprint.

War in Ukraine — The crushing invasion of Ukraine and retaliatory sanctions against Russia will ripple through the fashion industry. How much and how long remains to be seen.

Big news hint — Excitement alert: A major announcement is coming later this month about our Orchids web platform for collaboratively designing fashion products in 3D. Stay tuned!

By the numbers — Pay cut to keep dressing down for work, Brooks Running hits a milestone, and $25.3 million for 200 pairs of designer sneakers.

February 2022 highlights

Digital investment critical — New research says that not investing more in digital sales will hurt revenue growth, and 88% of retailers are making digital their top investment priority.

Brave new world — Artificial intelligence, using neural networks, can create digital images of fashion concepts that don’t exist and virtual fashion models with authentic human movements.

Auto-warming jackets — In the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, Team USA will wear Ralph Lauren jackets with insulating fabric that expands as temperatures drop.

Back to school — The prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York is offering a virtual course about Embodee’s Orchids platform, our online product creation and publishing platform for fashion.

Record revenue — The U.S. footwear industry is celebrating a nearly 30% increase in consumer spending for shoes last year, setting a record of $100 billion.

January 2022 highlights

Digital and more digital — What’s ahead in 2022? Predictions include a range of digital innovations, including new ways to dress metaverse avatars and more 3D virtual stores. 

Supply-chain innovations — Nearly a quarter of technology investments last year were targeted at in the fashion and retail space. Among the spending priorities: inventory flow planning.

Climate change — New York state is considering legislation that would impose large financial penalties on global fashion companies that don’t do enough to combat global warming.

3D design transformation — We’ve examined how the fashion solution provider Norlanka successfully transformed its design process to 3D with help from Embodee’s web-based Orchids platform. 

Most valuable brand — With a $34.4 billion valuation, Nike ranked as the world’s most valuable apparel brand in 2021, more than double that of Gucci, number two on a Top 10 list.

December 2021 highlights

Virtual Nikeland — Nike has unveiled an immersive 3D virtual place in the metaverse to attract and sell to consumers who increasingly live online as digital avatars.

Virtual stores evolve — They’re becoming a blend of physical stores and e-commerce sites, featuring an immersive, visually appealing buying experience in a 3D place.

AR to boost sales — Augmented reality applications and related hardware improvements appear poised to reduce friction points and better engage shoppers.

Fashion’s environmental problems — Technologies including virtual sampling and digital models could help brands reduce carbon emissions, water pollution, and waste in general.

Metaverse revenue — Investment bank Morgan Stanley foresees $50 billion in revenue for luxury brands that sell digital-only apparel to outfit virtual personas in the metaverse.