How Can 3D Sampling Make Fashion Brands Sustainable?

Mar 28, 2023

Product 3D Design

7 minute read

Technology has always opened new possibilities for us, and in the 21st century, the advances of technology have become stronger. One such instance is the 3D technology that has brought a paradigm shift across various industries. From real estate and manufacturing to healthcare, entertainment, and fashion, 3D is everywhere.

How Can 3D Sampling Make Fashion Brands Sustainable?
3D sampling make fashion brands sustainable

When we speak about the fashion industry, though, the effects of 3D innovations are perceived as greater. We know how 3D printing has begun to transform the sector or how virtual showrooms and virtual try-ons have made a significant impact. Well, now it is time for 3D sampling to up the game of fashion.

This article will reflect on:
1.the virtual 3D sampling technology
2.what are its advantages towards fashion brands is it going to make the sector more sustainable, and finally,
4.will digital sampling for fashion studios make physical sampling take a backseat in the near future

Those who are new to the concept stick with us until the end and find all the answers. Let’s begin!

What is 3D sampling, and how is it important in the fashion apparel industry?

3D sampling, or virtual sampling, is a digitalized process of creating garment samples using 3D technology. The process simulates the several sampling stages usually associated with traditional/manual sampling. Such as creating the apparel prototype, size setting, arbitrary sampling, grading, and so on. The sampling process in the garment domain is highly crucial for stakeholders and consumers in deciding upon a contract.

However, during the manual sampling process, a lot of by-products and waste are generated. Bundles of fabric, threads, fibers, yarns, and a lot of other textile scraps are discarded. All of this massive amount of waste is sent to landfills every year, which adds to the already faltering environment. Besides, the carbon emissions and water waste produced are also colossal.

Integrating 3D technology into the sampling procedure will not only make the process faster,. It will also significantly reduce the textile leftovers produced as no physical garment materials are involved and everything is done through 3D fashion design software.

Fast fashion brands can present their designs to manufacturers and consumers in a digital presentation. They can save bundles of fabric, make decisions instantly, shrink production time and effort, and offer huge style varieties. This is the reason why more and more apparel start-ups and fast fashion brands worldwide are adopting this innovative technology.

Embracing 3D prototyping and virtual designs has been a key stepping-stone for this sector towards digital transformation. With more and more environment-conscious, sustainable efforts called for, this is the best time for luxury and clothing brands to integrate 3D sampling into their processes.

In the following section, let’s take a closer look at how technology is helping the fashion industry with sustainability and waste reduction. Keep scrolling.

How can fashion brands reduce waste by leveraging 3D virtual sampling?

Futuristic fashion enthusiasts and researchers constantly look for newer and better ways of developing product development processes. Moreover, being environment-centric has become the norm across most mainstream business sectors. Consequently, in the present digital era, incorporating technology in traditional modes has brought several benefits.

With sustainable fabric sampling, in particular, clothing brands can become more creative, sustainable, and profitable. Find out how.

  • Faster design and development process

    Digital sampling facilitates a much faster production and development cycle, given the fact that 3D virtual samples are generated in software programs. Working with digital assets contributes to the reduction of physical garment samples as well as helping brands respond more quickly to demands and the latest trends.

    No shipping or logistics are involved throughout the process as part of the sustainable production methods in fashion. This further enhances timely delivery and efficiency.

  • Less usage of real fabric

    Throughout the production process, which involves more than 10 steps, apparel manufacturers create at least 4-5 garment prototypes or samples. It goes without saying that these “physical samples” were created using real fabric. Thus, one can imagine the amount of discarded waste in each garment consignment.

    With sampling done through 3D, this can be reduced to almost 50%. There are several professional 3D service providers who can deliver exceptional 3D renders. With these photorealistic 3D apparel renders several batches of prototypes can be created, and multiple rounds of changes can be made to the design, all while keeping material consumption and waste production on the lower side.

    The professional agencies offer exemplary apparel 3D design services at an affordable cost with a fast turnaround.

  • Better fitment

    The CG samples are computer-designed. That’s why, being entirely digital, there’s simply no limitation to the style, fitting, colors, materials, and the like. These are also done in exact human body measurements; therefore, there is no need to wait until the development process for proportion assessment.

    Digital samples can be easily emailed to the stakeholders, like sewing technicians, designers, etc., to implement the exact style and fitment. This primarily reduces the requirement for several prototype batches. As well, it helps buyers choose their preferred sizes, which frees up the inventory quickly.

  • Less carbon emission

    When the supply chain and production process are streamlined, unnecessary carbon emissions are also minimized. Less usage of heavy industrial machinery implies less energy demand and lower CO2 emissions. Thus, these innovations in fashion waste reduction help corporate fashion chains control their greenhouse gas emissions and be more "green.”

  • More style variations

    With photorealistic 3D-rendered visuals, the choice of styles can be unlimited. Creative changes in an apparel, turning it into urban, contemporary, or traditional, or ethnic, happen within a few clicks. Thus, based on the demands of the stakeholders, more and more variations can be made to these virtual samples in their styling.

    The best part of implementing software for this is that alterations can be made to a 3D model and checked in real time. There is no need to create new samples each time, which leads to sheer waste.

Hyper-realistic presentation

eCommerce runs on captivating product visuals. The 3D visuals can simulate real-world characteristics that drive more traction and conversion. Apparel production houses can eliminate traditional product photoshoots by replacing them with hyper-realistic 3D renders of the samples, which can be easily promoted online.

The appealing CG visual gives adequate information about the garment item without the need for any physical sample. These advanced 3D rendering solutions in fashion products bridge the gap between online and in-person shopping.

As you can see, adopting 3D sampling in fashion not only ensures an eco-friendly approach, but also brings in several profits. Sustainable fashion practices and digital fabric sampling are not just fads but are going to stay for a long time. Besides, as time passes and more technological advancements are made, we can expect further development in 3D technology in the fashion industry.

In the following segment of our insightful article, let’s discuss whether there is any chance that 3D sampling technology can outplay traditional garment sampling in the future. Keep scrolling down!

Will virtual sampling outsmart physical samples in the future?

Well, considering all of the facts above, as well as the rapid adoption of 3D technology in the fashion industry, there’s a high chance of virtual sampling becoming mainstream and commonplace. This ultimately suggests the exit of physical samples from the domain. The speedy evolution of virtual reality and 3D printing further attests to this recent fashion design innovation.

However, it is understandable that there is still a long way to go. Fashion retailers are still slow to change their current sampling system and methods. Even then, the flexibility, reduced carbon footprint, data-driven designs, and cost-savings have all made digital sampling a better, more sustainable alternative.


To sum up, the fashion sector and apparel manufacturers tend to “over-sample”, which ultimately leads to immense wastage and textile by-products. Several global clothing brands have already embraced virtual 3D sampling technology, moving a step towards sustainable clothing production.

This has encouraged other relatively newer brands to join in this sustainable fashion trend. The progress is slow, though, with many garment retailers still holding on to their traditional modes of sample creation.

But the future seems promising. With appropriate tools and training, a substantial digital disruption and transformation can be brought to the fashion industry. Considering the precision and technicalities involved in 3D fashion modeling and visualization, it is best to consult a professional for the job.

So, if you are a fashion garment retailer, manufacturer, or designer, partner with a professional 3D services provider today for all your 3D virtual sampling requirements and be an eco-friendly fashion brand. Good luck!

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Sushmita Roy

A seasoned 3D professional with a creative focused, and a knack for diverse 3D designs, software and the technology. She's associated with ThePro3DStudio for long enough to prove her mettle and make every 3D projects successful. When she’s not busy working for a new project, she shares valuable insights from her own experience.