If mass production was aboutmaking more, then mass customization is about producing the right product,adapted to individual tastes at the right price. Driving this change istechnology that allows clothing manufacturers to manipulate designs quickly atminimal cost, and produce in shorter and more cost-effective runs. In todays apparel market, consumersdesire to personalize the style, fit and color of the clothes they buy. This review article gives someinsight of the Mass Customization.


Before the start of the Industrial Revolution in the late1700s, products were hand made for each individual requirement. A tailor, forexample, would measure each customer, ask about the preferred style, fabric,color, hang and fit and then make the garment as a 'one-off'. Inevitably,though, the cost of goods was high. Industrialization changed all that. Massproduction became a cost effective method of manufacture, with long runs ofsimilar products made in the most efficient-most automated-manner possible.Prices fell and people had more spending power. This led to an eventual circleof market demand where consumers could afford what they wanted-and began towant different things.

These changes coincided with technological developments thatenabled standard designs to be adapted at low cost. Products could be 'masscustomized'-individualized and adapted to different tastes at an affordableprice. So if mass production was about making more, mass customization is aboutproducing the right product. And if manufacturers can change designs quickly atminimal cost, then shorter and shorter runs become cost effective to the pointwhere each customer can be provided with exactly what he or she wants.

In terms of clothing, mass customization does not mean areturn to the process where items are produced from scratch for each wearer asin the couture industry or traditional bespoke tailoring. It meansmanufacturing 'en mass' standard designs which have their sizes adapted to fitthe individual; designs that are adapted with different pockets, cuff shapes,fabrics and colors; and standard products that are personally embellished insome way.

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About the Author

The author is a Senior Lecturer in Department of TextileTechnology, Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore