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Trendwatch: Is Custom Outerwear the Future?

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As covered in our recent trends update, allowing customers to specialize and personalize your products is a major trend  headed towards both retail and service industries.  wrote an article in Skiing Business that captures how custom clothing brands are beginning to capitalize on this trend in the ski industry, interviewing executives from brands like Beyond Clothing, Wild Things and NWT3K. Mangelsdorf describes how customization can give smaller brands a leg up on their larger counterparts:

“If this isn’t the future, it should be,” says Scott Jones, Beyond Clothing’s founder. “It is a win-win for everyone.”

With the perks of domestic production and minimal shipping costs, Jones sees custom clothing moving outdoor apparel to the next stage of its evolution…

With custom apparel, the business sidesteps the risk of purchasing a designated amount of a product in hopes of selling it all. Instead, Wild Things purchases the raw material and produces only what is demanded, resulting in a more-efficient, less-risky business strategy. With overseas factories and sprawling product distribution, it seems unwieldy for many big brands to tackle tailored outerwear.

Jones is currently working on a retail kiosk plan that would allow people to access the same customization process in-store as they could online, which could help lesser-known brands increase their reach.

The CEO from Wild Things, Edward Schmults, asserts that the industry is definitely headed in this direction, and points out that major brands such as Nike have already embraced customization.
For more detailed information on the challenges and opportunities in customized gear, read the entire article.

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