September 1, 2020
I am most looking forward to seeing how other companies within the fashion industry are utilizing digital printing. I am also interested to hear about the improvements it is making in everyday life/ other companies and industries. I think it will be very fascinating to learn about the advantages that others are gaining from digital printing. And lastly, look forward to learning what continued advancements are being made in the digital printing market and understanding how they can be implemented further within the textile industry as well as others. Seeing things from an outside perspective can often help one to look through a new lens or gain a new perspective on things, which is why I am eager to see what other industries are doing with digital printing and how we might be able to think outside the box and use these advancements within fashion/ textiles.
I hope the audience understands how truly pivotal digital printing is within the fashion industry, especially for Lilly Pulitzer Inc. Our brand has been able to gain a number of efficiencies through the use of digital printing throughout out sampling stages. Being a largely print based business, it is very important that we get an accurate read on how a print performs in a certain silhouette, colorway, delivery story, etc. Printing yardage and getting it sewn immediately into garment form allows our company to study and gauge the popularity and effectiveness of each and every print. It also allows us to effect change much sooner for the end line and gives us a better read on what will work and what needs to change, metrics that are vital to the growth and health of our business. Prior to this we had to wait weeks, sometimes over a month for sample yardage to be wet printed for us to then make into samples. Digital printing has greatly increased our efficiencies and allowed us to make smarter decisions sooner for the overall growth of the brand.
Digital printing is also much more eco-friendly helping to cut down on the environmental pollution that our industry is so widely known for. The harmful dyes, treatments, waste, run off and water pollution that happens within the industry has truly done a number on the environment. As the 3rd largest industry for water pollution, implementing the use of digital printing significantly cuts water and energy usage. The dyes used are also much better for the environment and produce far less waste. It is imperative that we highlight the positive effects this printing method has not only on our industry and its carbon footprint but on the environment as well. The more we are able to educate textile businesses on these advantages, the better odds we have of increasing its use and cutting down on harmful pollution go forward.
I think it is no secret that the use of digital printing will only increase in the years to come. The advantages of digital printing out number its contenders. The speed to market is unparalleled. The concept of 100% custom, no mass production, and shorter leadtimes will be just some of benefitting factors for industries other than just textiles within the coming years. Within 5-10 years, I see digital printing becoming more widely available. I believe other industries who are not yet utilizing digital printing will see its benefits and make the investment in this technology seeing it as an investment in themselves, their brand and their company. The upsurge in its popularity will also hopefully make this technology increasingly more cost effective broadening its markets further.
At Lilly Pulitzer, we take color very seriously. We pride ourselves on being 100% custom with both our colors and prints. Each season our color palettes are created to not only enhance our prints but to bring them to life! That being said, hitting our color standards on digitally printed yardage can be a challenge, especially since our colors are completely custom and not based off of pantone chips (which can make for an easier color match). Also, we are often limited in the fabrications we can digitally print. Given our use of vibrant, neon colors, there are only certain fabrications which will give us accurate color representation. It is important that we see the colors as close to standard as possible to give us a read on if these colors not only work together but also within the print. We often have to choose a substitute quality to print on which will not give us the correct drape, weight, texture, etc and sometimes makes picturing the actual silhouette or style a challenge.