Interview with Sharon Lim

Face2Face
Sharon Lim
Sharon Lim
CEO
Browzwear
Browzwear

We reinvest 70% of revenue in R&D

Browzwear provides 3D solutions for apparel design, development and merchandising. The company's 3D solutions help brands and retailers connect with people and processes around the world, reducing iterations and samples, and merchandising garments before those are produced. The company has headquarters in Singapore and the Netherlands. Chief executive officer Sharon Lim discusses the challenges and risks of not going digital and future consumer trends in fashion.

How will 3D designing revolutionise the fashion industry in 10 years from now?

3D has already begun to revolutionise the way early adopters design, develop, collaborate and sell. With 3D digitisation, the entire apparel design workflow will be shortened from several months to mere days. This will mean that new designs are current and relevant for the market.

How do you place the on-demand fashion market? Where is the movement for on-demand fashion growing?

Today's consumers are more conscious about sustainability and they are more inclined to spend money on experiences that matter, like travel, culinary experiences and sustainable products. I do not think it is fast fashion that matters to most of them anymore. To capture consumer attention these days, it is about caring for the issues that are important to them, and not about being faster or pushing trends.

What are the three most significant transformations that 3D garment simulation has brought to the apparel industry?

The most significant transformations are in transforming how and when products are developed, and by enhancing and enabling closer collaboration between retailers, brands and supply chain partners.

What is your USP? How is it different from others?

Browzwear was a pioneer of 3D fashion in the early 2000s. We developed solutions to help our clients meet their objectives. These solutions include not just the technology, but also our support in the transformation of their workflows. Our team includes not just technology developers and algorithm scientists, but also experts from the fashion industry who are able to help their peers with digital transformation.

Which are your major markets? What is the size of the apparel and footwear companies using your solutions?

We have customers and partners across Asia, the United States and Europe. More than 400 of our customers include companies of all sizes, from large ones the size of Walmart, to the small businesses of less than five people. By the way, we are apparel-specific and do not cater to footwear.

Which economies are the forefront of the zero-waste fashion movement?

I cannot say for sure any country is in the forefront; however, I am glad to say that I have seen the promotion of zero-waste fashion globally.

What are the key challenges when it comes to convincing apparel manufacturers in Southeast Asia to use 3D design software?

It is not just a challenge in Southeast Asia. It is all around the world. While the benefits and the opportunities are game-changing, investing in training people on the teams is key. I have heard of owners and senior management who are less willing to invest in their people because they are afraid, they will take the new skills and leave. My response to them is to consider the cost/risk their organisation faces if they do not have skilled, digitally-trained workers. Challenges are there, but it is not unsurmountable anymore. There will be early adopters who move faster than others and that should be a consideration for their peers.

What kind of features will the next version of 3D design software have in store for the fashion and apparel industry?

Since we serve different stakeholders in design, development, showcasing and collaboration, our development continues to cater to the various needs of a wide range of adapters. We are organised by our stakeholders and we have different product managers that drive each of these workflows.

What percentage of revenue is invested in research and development (R&D)?

We reinvest 70 per cent of our revenue in R&D. It is our biggest team. (HO)
Published on: 21/05/2019

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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