Made by Robots. Is this the Future?
Are we all going to be replaced by robots in the end?
Perhaps, but for the time being, we can confirm that no robots are used in the making of our uniforms, nor do we have any robots on staff, that we know of.
We feel compelled to point this out, as some of the world’s biggest sports brands are now proudly unveiling prototypes of sports shoes made entirely by robots, untouched by human hand.
Don’t get us wrong, we love technology at Fashionizer. We are proud to call ourselves a traditional manufacturer with creativity and craft at the centre of our business model, but that doesn’t mean that we are techno-refuseniks. On the contrary, making use of technology is firmly embedded in the Fashionizer psyche, across all stages of the business. Our online systems, for example, enable clients to order anytime and anywhere – essential for a company that needs to operate across all time zones. We can track the whereabouts of every button, garment and metre of fabric on our ERP system, which integrates everything we do, from design to delivery.
Fashionizer is all about small quantities of garments, made specifically for each client. The devil is in the detail – we once spent an entire day working out the optimum position of a hotel’s crest on a cap – and precision is paramount. The likes of Nike and Adidas have who are spearheading the robot revolution have the opposite challenge: produce high volumes of goods that look exactly the same.
Robot-driven technologies have other pitfalls. We were intrigued by Sewbo, the robotic brainchild of a Stateside web developer and inventor. The inventor correctly identified that robots struggled with most fabrics, being unable to handle anything soft, anything a bit stretchy – basically anything that behaves the way that fabric does. His work-around: soak it in a plastic-based solution to make it stiff, get Sewbo to sew it, then wash off the plastic in hot water. There are so many things wrong with that that we don’t really know where to begin – but let’s just say that the world probably doesn’t need more plastic in the ecosystem right now.
In the end, it could just mean that more effort and energy would have to be put into the planning stage. Would a robot be able to work out if a fabric had faults, or was the wrong side up? Would the time spent programming the robot to deal with multiple bespoke sizes make it a false economy?
Progress is inevitable, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Savile Row is still alive, well and thriving in the face of many industrial and technological revolutions. After all, you can still spot a good hand-made suit – and a quality, well-made uniform.