Design Changes Affecting Production Processes – A Talk With Nicolas Prophte

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Will the Covid create design changes in the denim industry and will those design changes affect production processes in the supply chain?

We spoke to Nicolas Prophte – VP Sourcing, Production and Innovation Denim at Tommy Hilfiger – if there are any design changes that he feels have come  and whether they will affect the production processes.

As a beginning note, Nicolas shared a great positive news that the demand for denim is good for his company and he saw a good appetite for denim bottoms. This kind of dispels so many doubts that had started emerging in the minds of the industry post covid. 

He mentioned about the SS’21 Collection which was entirely designed digitally. He also mentioned that the company invested in a design development centre in Amsterdam a few years ago – where they have  assets like a huge physical and digital library along with lots of data and this library helped them a lot. They also have an amazing wash library and have strong relationships with vendors and all this helped them to create a great collection entirely digitally. He felt that the designers are learning new ways to design using digital ways. He also spoke about creating 3D designs for selling and felt there is no need to create salesman samples. He also felt that it is important to create more and more digital content to engage the buyers and this is going to be important for the future as well.

Coming to mills and vendors, he felt that investing in relations with the supply chain over the years has helped them during this ‘storm’. Strong relationships ensured that they received full support from their vendors and helped them to be more agile and flexible. 

Speaking on sustainability, he mentioned about various initiatives, he mentioned about a target of having 20% post-consumer recycled cotton in all their fabrics in the next 5 years and there will be a great focus on reducing the use of virgin cotton. Tommy wants to produce 1 million jeans with this composition in 2021 and by 2023 – about 3 million jeans. They are also pushing the laundries to be more responsible and with their KPI – LOW IMPACT DENIM. This denim uses eco-friendly washing systems including lasers, ozone, etc and their target for 2021 is to create over 50% LOW IMPACT DENIM.

Lead times will be also massively impacted and closer to the market would be important in the future. Nicolas spoke about various other aspects of the current market , sustainability, digitalization, etc  and the complete talk can be accessed can be listened to from this link

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