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AFC FashTech Lab 2022

Supported by City of Sydney

The AFC, supported by City of Sydney, partnered with five technology companies to create a workflow for the Australian Fashion Industry using 3D design technology. This new workflow helped fashion businesses adopt 3D design technology in an effort to reduce overheads, costs, textile waste and carbon emissions through the design and sampling process.

8 fashion businesses were selected to trial 3D design technology with a selection of their products, and work with the technology companies to overcome obstacles and find collaborative solutions. The result will be an industry-backed and commercially-viable pathway to adopting 3D digital design for the Australian Fashion Industry. Each milestone was marked with a Knowledge Exchange (online) Session, open to all of the industry to listen, learn and follow the journey.

Last year the program saw eight Australian fashion brands, including Cue, Matteau and Bianca Spender develop their designs into 3D samples, with the following results:

Sampling costs reduced by up to 50%;

down from 12 weeks average to 4 weeks;

By eliminating physical samples, textile waste was reduced during the pilot by 225 metres. If Sales and Press Samples were produced, textile waste was reduced by 450 metres.

Fashion businesses selected to be part of the FashTech Lab trialed 3D digital design technologies with a small collection of items, free of charge. Items could be clothing and accessories, but unfortunately footwear was not suitable for this trial. There was no upfront cost for fashion businesses to participate, only commitment of time and thought.

With companies expected to invest in digital innovation and experiment with fresh and creative commerce in 2022, digital adoption and transformation is more important than ever, setting the foundation to leverage and explore Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and gaming skins - the metaverse is your oyster.

Watch the Knowledge Exchange Sessions

2022 Participants


“The fabric rendering really is incredible, the way it captures weight, drape and movement. It was our biggest reservation beforehand, but it actually worked really well. If you review our eCommerce images and 3D renders you could actually see the print more clearly on the render!”


"This program was a great starting point to investigate the viability of evolving our operations to 3D sampling - specifically how it could reduce design costs, carbon emissions and textile waste."


“The thing for us has been about being about to iterate quicker…It’s not so much the pattern making….as our pattern maker can whip up a pattern quickly, it’s the alterations, and sampling that takes a long time, digital has really delivered in this regard.”

2022 Participants

What's Next

AFC FashTech Lab 2023 - The AFC is excited to announce FashTech Lab will be returning for a second series in 2023, supported by City of Sydney. Stay tuned for further updates.

...Companies will continue to invest in digital innovation and experiment with fresh approaches to creativity and commerce in 2022. Digital assets such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), gaming “skins” and virtual fashion will edge closer to the mainstream, with some brands expanding into the digital “metaverse”

- The State of Fashion 2022, Business of Fashion.

Who should attend?
The program will have the most impact if Managers from the Design, Development and/or Production team attend as well as a C-Suite or executive team member participating in the futuremap® workshop.

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