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Why we design in Clo3d by Maggie Mattioni

Neem Product Designer Maggie, talks us through the design journey of each Neem product and how even at the early stages everything is done to ensure the processes remain sustainable and as eco-friendly as possible;

'After years of designing in the clothing industry and watching the impact on the environment the fashion industry brings, I knew something needed to be done.

3D technology is nothing new, especially to sportswear companies who have used it for a number of years creating technical garments. What is new however, is that the same technology is now filtering down to other clothing brands and retailers.

The 3D technology allows more efficiency by providing more acute patterns meaning less sampling and therefore waste. By working closely with suppliers, you can create your unique patterns that are then imported straight in to the software. There really is no more need for garments to be made just for a ‘sign off’ or a ‘selection meeting’. Working in 3D shows you immediately what the garment will look like, without any physical sample needed.

During the sample process, a clothing brand may make around 5-7 samples before going into production, some of these garments are in the wrong fabric, are the wrong shape, have only one sleeve etc so all either end up being burnt or ending eventually in landfill.

I took the decision to change how I design a couple of years ago. We must take responsibility ourselves and make a change and not wait for someone else to do it first.

When Nick approached me with the concept of Neem, there was only one way to design and that would be using the 3D software.

Neem is leading the way on how clothing brands should ultimately be. I believe the entire industry should be more transparent about our sampling as well as the fabrics and packaging; sustainability is very much about the design process too.

Neem was designed by building the avatar to the customer’s perfect fit and designing from there. Digital fabrics are also on the increase with more and more mills realising them in this new format, therefore avoiding thousands of samples ending up in landfill. Fabrics will only be ordered once the garment is selected.

For Neem, I used a combination of existing fabrics and then created our own – all digitally. We were able to see what the designs and colourways looked like before any samples were made. The fashion industry accounts for around 10% of the worlds carbon emissions. I read a research that a garage size truck of clothes is burned and sent to landfill every second.

We need to change this and take responsibility in what we buy and what we produce and I am happy to say, Neem London is doing just that.'