12 years ago, Dutch designers Rosanne van der Meer and Annelie Ansingh met at a design academy. Their friendship and shared creative passions led to the formation of a startup called The Girl and the Machine, which just launched a new Kickstarter campaign a few days ago. The Girl and the Machine does what many 3D printed fashion designers and startups struggle to do, which is to create 3D printed clothing that is both attractive and wearable.
The startup actually utilizes a 3D knitting technique that creates clothing using a unique code for every garment. It offers clothing that is tailored to each individual customer, with no two pieces alike. The founders believe that their ability to involve the customer directly in the design process, creating clothing that fits them and their needs precisely, they can eliminate some of the vast amounts of clothing waste that is discarded due to ill fit or overall dissatisfaction.
“Since we met at Fashion Academy we are inspired by the idea that the best possible clothing should function and feel like animal skin: distinguished, flexible, climate adaptive, sustainable and with a perfect fit,” the founders state. “With our Digital Tailoring System we can offer everybody a unique Knitcode…The future of fashion is about more quality and less waste because you will decide what is made. We believe this is the future of fashion.”
“Knitcode” is the term the designers use for the unique knit patterns their 3D printer generates. They use data, measurements and other information about each customer, including age, weight, collar size and chest size to create a perfectly fitting design, and in the future they want to begin using 3D body scanners for even more accuracy. The machine prints each garment in one piece, creating soft, comfortable-looking clothing that is a long way from the stiff creations that other 3D printed fashion offers.
“For us, quality is about durability, good fit and personal style, but also about responsible production and conscious consumer choices,” the founders continue. “In 2014 we started experimenting with wholegarment clothing design on a 3D knitting machine with the purpose of using this machine as a 3D printer for ultra personalised production. By making clothes on personal request we can decrease the amount of garments that are unnecessarily produced, never sold, out of season or wasted.”
The Girl and the Machine offers two basic knitwear patterns: 3D Illusion, a delicate, feathery-looking pattern, and 3D Softwear, a more basic, smooth knit. The company is attempting to raise €30,000 on Kickstarter by November 20th, and is offering several knitwear options as backer rewards. Early birds can receive a Softwear sweater for €149, and the more intricate Illusion sweater goes for an early bird price of €207. Backers can choose from a wide variety of colors, necklines and other options.
It’s interesting to watch the evolution of 3D printed fashion from runway-only looks to wearable, everyday garments. 3D knitting is a somewhat different technique than typical 3D printing, but it utilizes the same type of software and concept that allows for completely unique, tailored creations. The Girl and the Machine uses this technology to an attractive-looking effect. It’s hard to judge the quality of any type of clothing without wearing it, but this startup certainly appears to make quality a priority, as well as environmental friendliness and customer satisfaction.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.[Images: The Girl and the Machine]