As mills adopt BlackOPS™ to digitize their fabrics, they will be able to add their digital libraries to the BlackOPS™ Arsenal, a cloud-based searchable repository of fabrics. BlackOPS™ member brands can access the BlackOPS™ Arsenal to improve their fabric development process.
To replace the first path, mills upload their digitized fabric library to the BlackOPS™ Arsenal making it accessible by apparel brands seeking fabrics. This strategy converts the mill liabilities associated with general fabric R&D to an online menu asset that can generate fabric orders. An apparel brand user can search the mill’s digital fabric assets by any number of fabric attributes to find fabric candidates that are suitable for use in garments under development. Based on the sophistication of the apparel brand product design tools, the brand user can either request a fabric header card or download the fabric digital file (the complete model, not just an image file) for consideration.
As an alternate to initiating requests in the second development path, apparel brands can start by digitizing their inspirational samples and searching the BlackOPS™ Arsenal for production-ready fabrics that meet pre-defined requirements from BlackOPS™ mills. Rather than initiating a new development, the brand can review existing mill fabrics that meet the desired requirements. If no suitable fabrics are found, the BlackOPS™ file can sent to the preferred mill as a manufacturing-ready standard. The BlackOPS™ digital fabric standard provides mills with the specific information needed to replicate unidentified inspiration swatches.
Selecting fabrics from the BlackOPS™ Arsenal mitigates quality risks for both the apparel brands and mills. Selecting known fabrics with a production history is better than developing new fabrics with no historical data on runnability or quality. With this insight into known fabrics, the ability to adopt the right fabrics is not constrained by time or the size of an apparel brand fabric development team.
Several different business models are possible, from a mill- or vendor-specific BlackOPS™ Arsenal to a global BlackOPS™ Arsenal. Regardless of the channel, BlackOPS™ provides mills with the chance to monetize fabric development and apparel brands the opportunity to get what they want faster.