By: Ms. Seung-Eun Lee and Dr. Joseph C. Chen


In todays apparel market, consumers desire to personalize the style, fit and color of the clothes they buy (Apparel Industry: Consumer customization, 1998; SRI Consulting, 1997). According to Kurt Salmon Associates 1997 Annual Consumer Outlook Survey, 36% of consumers are willing to pay up to 15% more for customized apparel and footwear, and will wait up to three weeks to receive their customized product (Apparel Industry: Consumer customization, 1998). This report, however, does not negate the values of low cost and fast delivery in the consumer market. Most of todays consumers require high-quality customized products at low prices with faster delivery (Cameron, 1998). With this sort of consumer interest in mind, the concept of mass customization emerged in the late 1980s.

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About the Authors:

Ms. Seung-Eun Lee is currently seeking her in the department of Textiles and Clothing at Iowa State University and Dr. Joseph C. Chen, PE is an associate professor in the Department of Industrial Education and Technology at Iowa State University

Originally published in New Cloth Market: March 2010