Julia Daviy

Fashion Designer, Julia Daviy

3D Printed Sustainable Clothing & The Third Age Of Fashion - Julia Daviy

Apr 5, 2019
Julia Daviy

3D Printed Sustainable Clothing & The Third Age Of Fashion

Julia Daviy is a fashion designer creating the first ever 3D printed, recyclable and zero waste clothes. Her 3D printed fashion collection is the first ever to be released within the U.S. that not only uses the technology of large printing format but also displays a true everyday clothing look that is functional, fabulously delicate and wearable for women.

Highlights of the episode:

  • How Julia started her journey into 3D printing
  • The Third Age of Fashion
  • Zero waste fashion
  • 3D printing with new materials
  • Large scale 3D printing in footware and bags/accessories
  • Social problems because of automation

Useful links:

Julia Daviy - https://juliadaviy.com/

Julia Daviy on Twitter - https://twitter.com/JuliaDaviy

Time Stamp:

[01:05] How did you discover 3D printing technology can be applied to sustainable fashion?

[03:45] Localised clothing production

[07:10] The Third Age of Fashion 

[11:00] Where are we at for sustainable fashion 

[13:00] Adidas producing millions of 3D printed shoes

[15:45] Large 3D printers 

[17:00] 1/3 of cotton is wasted and 3D printing eliminates waste

[18:00] Future of 3D printed fashion

[21:00] AI will have an effect on fashion

Listen to this episode now:

Read the transcription:

[00:31] Maiko: And today's episode, I talked to Julia Daviy, who is the first fashion designer to deliver 3D printed, recyclable and zero waste cloth, and we'll get into what that exactly means. Using her paper to 3D printing techniques, she's received international innovation at the 2018 New York Fashion Week and has launched a new collection. It's great to have you on the show, Julia. 


[00:56] Julia: Thank you, Maiko. 

[00:57] Maiko: Thank you. So, you are one of the pioneers in the field of combining sustainability and eco fashion with 3D printing? And obviously, most people would have heard of 3D printing now, it still seems like it's not really in the mainstream yet, but you kind of got into combining it. And you saw that 3D printing could actually solve some of the sustainability issues in the fashion industry. How did you discover all this? And how did you start out? When did you find this issue? And when did you see that 3D printing could help you solve it? 


[01:32] Julia: Yes, actually, I was excited about opportunities in 3D printing, because when I started to learn, I started printing, and I started to learn through the printing, and because before that I can, I had experimented with certified organic fabrics and make an active way, or with organic fabrics. And I found that the problem with sustainability is not because of the fabrics, it's because of the production and three years ago, I dived into the learning of 3D printing software and hardware and took each and every course I could find to get the knowledge and skills, and my apartment was flooded with a 3D printer sensor, the scanners, different types of filaments and other materials and I bought all books and magazines, and also, any  printing I could find. But the real practical knowledge and bad ideas came via everyday experimentation and hundreds of mistakes. I started to learn and experiment with assorted printing because of several reasons.


[02:31] Julia: I was looking for the sustainable waste freeway of the golden production, and also because as I see the functions of the clothing are changing, that's not about beautification of our appearance anymore. And at the same time, there's almost no clothes in the market that will meet the new needs. Also, I don't like waste of time on a non-intellectual monotonous, repetitive operations and current involvement was nil also. So, low paid hard working women and kids into the clothing production is, I found 3D printing as a possible solution to all these problems. As I might say that the traditional clothing industry has met terrible logistics, all of these source materials for better technology for the quality industry. For the last decade, I have been working in clean technology, and especially a lot of evidence, solar energy industry and working in this new industry and solving challenges every time I wasn't afraid to meet them again about in the new industry.


[03:39] Maiko: Great. That's great to see, I think, yeah, probably it's been highlighted again and again. But I mean, it's very clear that the fashion industry is not very sustainable with most fashion companies not even being properly able to track their supply chains. Where does the stuff even come from, who produces it? Where did the raw materials come from? Do you envision it the whole fashion industry, will shift a bit more towards localize production, because that's what I think you're getting to it right? And in theory, anybody that has one of your printers could print a fashion, right?


[04:12] Julia: You know, the first buyer, I approached was the, exactly on the same you're speaking about. At first, I am so, see printing as the solution to localize the clothing production, and it has a potential to do, to be developed in that way. But also, if we look closer to the 3D printed special market today, and we will see that those business models are that we are based on the involvement of individuals and designers that they failed. And today the only successful model we can see in the market is the model of partnership. Especially look at the case of Adidas and Carbon companies. Carbon company produced about 100,000 mid-soles for Adidas sneakers last year, and for the common years, they're going to produce millions of 3D printed mid-soles. And the peculiarities and this corporation and this business model is that Carbon doesn't sell the 3D printers, and then they deliver the resolution to the fashion company. And actually, I love this business model because we also have developed our unique solutions. And I understand that we can't simply sell our 3D printers, because the technology is not on that level that you can just buy a 3D printer to switch it on and get a ready piece of clothing and I'm sure that we will have kind of this ready solution and many years. Today its knowledge, knowledge intensive industry. You need to have the professionals to be able to produce anything with 3D printers. 


[06:09] Maiko: But people that are interested in 3D printers because they can be buying them soon from you, right? How does it work? What if somebody is interested in this? Will those be out there soon? 

[06:18] Julia: Yeah, actually today we have two solutions. And we again, probably will sustain our business models. Because our initial solution is a software platform, which we are launching in the coming weeks. It's now, it's ready and we are testing it. It permits to customize a piece of clothing and we started with skirts and jackets, and you can design your own piece of clothing. Let's say, let's take a skirt. You can choose a style, you can choose a length, you can choose pockets, you can regulate your waist. It's easy to do. It's like 123. And the experience, and you experience for a customer, and that is first customizable, and so, they're printable, and so we print the skirt and a jacket, that you can order online and get it in two days when you are in the United States or about two, three weeks when you're abroad. 

[07:20] Maiko: Amazing. I saw you sometimes speak about the Third Age of fashion. Can you explain that maybe in terms of why that trend? I think you published a video, or you speak about that, can you summarize that for us? What's the Third Age of fashion? Where's the industry moving and how are you part of this? 


[07:38] Julia: Yeah, so, we can start from the very beginning, and I can see there that actually today, we are on the brain of a new age in fashion, at that age created by a new technology. And this technology is 3D printing, and also of course we feel, how are the technologies, such as artificial intelligence will influence in fashion today. And I will be influenced in even more in the coming years. The very first age of fashion was when we were able to make a yard of fabric on the spinning wheel, and the can loom, and it could take hundreds of hours. And in the late 18th century, where the introduction of the first mechanized loom, we switched to the Second Age of passion. Actually, at that time we, when the first industry that was transformed by the Industrial Revolution, and crafts were replaced in with factories and production lines. And actually, until now, we have this Second Age of fashion America, cheap clothes. It's cheap but at a cost, because millions of women and kids trapped in low paid labour in fashion industry and because of other environmental and ethical problems of the fashion industry. 


[09:02] Julia: And in 2010 to 2014, I would say it was like the very beginning of the 3D printed fashion development. It's actually where the printed fashion started from the collaboration between the fashion designers, architects and 3D printing companies, and at the very beginning, it was an exploration of new previously impossible shapes. And the dresses were mostly created with hard materials, and a little bit later, let's say from 2014 to 2017 this time frame, I would call the era of romanticism, because society widely discussed the opportunities to 3D print shoes and even dresses at home, and people believed in the power of open source and many designers were sharing their 3D printable files for free. They believed in the honesty of consumers.


[10:01] Julia: And, of course, and they were expecting to be fairly compensated for their work, but despite thousands of downloads of particular models that you may see on such sites like, freegivers.com, consumers rarely offer tips. And what was even more disappointing is that effect, that consumers were still in Edit designs for their own commercial benefits. For example, one company, it was X.Y.Z workshop, they were probably the first who in 2014 uploaded the address design adapted for being printed was forms where the printers, of course, the material for 3D printing of that home address was not flexible. It was like I would say semi flexible, but anyway, you could imagine that another company, 3D printed the address, applied to the Fashion Awards, and even wanted it. No surprise that today you will have limited this or the model and this line of work and hundreds of hours to upload their 3D printable works for free downloads. 


[11:05] Julia: That's why the perception of 3D printed fashion development has changed. Today I believe in the professionals where the print and clothing manufacturer more than comes with the printed fashion. 

[11:18] Maiko: Make sense, as you said it's still complicated to really produce, and mass produced these clothes, right? Where do you think are we at in terms of these new, more sustainable production techniques that you're using, in terms of this being ready for more of a mass market? I mean, if you talk about fashion, obviously, there's a lot of different sub segments. There's like high fashion and there's like fast fashion, you know, like, there's so many things going on, but it seems like a lot of the kind of mass market stuff is moving more and more fast fashion is going on. Like it's just very cheap to buy clothes and they're being produced under terrible conditions. And at the same time, it seems like the technology to produce the most sustainably and you know 3D print Demi's era is not quite there yet. Tried to, do you think it's going to take us like another 30, 40 years until we have something like that that's really at scale so that, you know, most people would be able to buy something and maybe afford that as well. You know, they actually find these clothes and shops are being able to order them anywhere in the world?


[12:27] Julia: I can't say anything about cheap clothes, like the cheapest segment of clothing, maybe we welcome to the regulation that will be somehow prohibited. I hope because it doesn't meet many standards. And especially today when we speak about sustainability and ethical questions, and climate change and so on. But speaking about 3D printing in fashion, today we are at the stage when we can achieve acceptable quality, produce the music style, so called textile, 4.0, replace leather, because what we are doing in our laboratory and in our manufacturer model, we are really printing clothing that reminds and it looks, it looks like leather, but it's, actually it's not leathers. It's to be material, which is much more sustainable and the way we use it is much more sustainable. And actually, we have the first 3D printed clothes ready to wear. 


[13:29] Julia: That's what we are doing right now. So, I believe that we can see the significant changes in the coming years, because let's say even Adidas is going to produce millions of sneakers with 3D printed mid-soles. Just in 1 to 2 years, this year and then the coming year. So, it's a huge breakthrough because for many years, and we did by hands, had anything mass production and we know about many failures where the marketing of 3D printer’s expression. Actually, the next stage will be 3D printing of the ready to wear pieces that will replace for example, your traditionally made T-shirts easily. We will have a better 3D printed material, more developed 3D printing technology, faster 3D printing, wider incorporation of variable sensors. Actually, I love the idea of 3D printing because it permits you to incorporate wearable sensors into the use of clothing easily.


[14:36] Maiko: Just print them in basically. 


[14:38] Julia: Actually, after that, you might probably know that today is widely discussed opportunity to grow close, and that will be a mix of engineers and 3D printing, as growing, as a more natural process than 3D printing. But it is the perspective probably of 30, 40 years, and the nearest printing is 3D printing of clothing, and you mentioned the problems with mass production. Actually, I don't see this problem now. Because man, the 3D printed factories will be developing. The customization is not a problem, and a mass producing action is not a problem. And we see that last year, Adidas produced 100,000 players and they use just about 30 3D printers. 

[15:27] Maiko: Oh, wow.


[15:28] Julia: Yeah. Today, my young, I wouldn't say a large studio and permits to produce more than 100 pieces of 3D printed clothing per month, and we are expecting our new 3D printed machines and then they come in April, and we will be able to ask for the print and much more.


 [15:50] Maiko: Much more. So, it's already being used by big companies by the likes of Adidas. It's not just a thing in the lab and it's already, it's already out there been used, so, it's amazing to hear.


[16:02] Julia: Yes, so, let me see, probably clothes were one of the main limitations we had in past, it was the format of the 3D printed machines. Usually it's tiny, and when you need anyone to produce, let's say, a piece of clothing, you need to 3D print a lot of pieces, and then attach them to each other. And so, as we work with large format 3D printers, we don't have this problem. 


[16:29] Maiko: When you look at sustainable fashion, I think there's a rise of more and more labels popping up that claim to do sustainable fashion and kind of always have their own interpretation of it. But I think there's a lot more an offer now for anybody looking for fashion to actually buy more sustainable options. How do you think does this compare to what you've developed of 3D printing, and maybe focus a bit also on the inefficiencies of the general fashion industry, right? So, if I produce sustainable fashion, which is supposedly under fair working conditions, using resources that can grow back, etc. It's still usually a process that requires a long supply chain and probably will have to throw away or recycle some of the textile, that I can't use. Talk us through the inefficiencies of the industry, and how you think what you've developed is different to other sustainable fashion labels. 


[17:26] Julia: Yeah, actually, the 3D printing process had the potential to be a less energy intensive and much less wasteful than existence clothing manufacturer techniques. About one third of all the fabric we make in the traditional clothing industry is thrown away. The cotton process waste huge amounts of material, as the patterns are laid out and less material is discarded. And it's simply an unavoidable part of making clothing from fabric and in 3D printing, I don't make fabric. That sort of 3D printing process eliminates most cotton, and most waste from the cotton making process by eliminating fabric itself, because individual parts or a whole item of clothing are printed directly, let's say when I want to 3D print a skirt, I can sort of print it in two parts and just put them together. And actually, I developed a method for the clothing production on 3D printers, and that permits us to achieve almost zero waste. 

[18:30] Julia: Actually, today we have less than 1% of waste in the clothing production. And today I use mainly, I use T.P filament combined with M.D.M technology. Also, I experiment a lot with S.L.A technology, and new materials and tissue results, usable for fashion designs. We have re-engineered one of the most advanced 3D printers on the market and finally created our own 3D printer, and yes, actually, I find 3D printing the most sustainable way for the clothing production today. Today to have limitation not connected to what that the cans, let's say, some of the plant or something, reminded cotton or silk. But when we look at the podiums and fashion magazines, and you will see a lot of materials and ready items that can be created on 3D printers too


[19:28] Maiko: Amazing, if you think about the next 10 years of your company and of your label, what kind of world are you trying to help create with what you're doing over the next 10 years?

[19:40] Julia: The technology is developing so fast, even for the last year. If I would be able to come back and estimated the markets, I would say absolutely different things because I couldn't beg that we would be so successful by the large formats of 3D printers. So, I'm very excited about the possibilities, and about the future of 3D printing, especially now, when I just arrived from the Technology Conference in Los Angeles, and I got acquainted with some very exciting new materials. So, I believe that in 10 years at the 3D Printed Fashion Industry, will become a huge industry, at least to be able to achieve the first billion in sales. And you will see a lot of 3D printed fashion especially, and they footwear production, and in the bags and accessories because these two segments there are absolutely no limitations. And just these two industries are huge, and they have a lot of potential to gain huge share of the market. As for the clothing production, I believe that it has a huge potential too.


[21:00] Julia: At the very first stage, we can replace all the leather production, all the leather clause in the industry and the fashion markets. And just imagine if, when, not if, when we will be able to plant the ready to wear pieces of clothing that will remind me which fabric, will remind cotton or silk, then we will be able to gain a huge share of the market, which was today, more than $804 billion calculated in the markets of clothing for today. So, I'm very optimistic about the future of 3D printed clothing, and actually, actually I believe that so is artificial intelligence today is developing very fast too. There is a social problem potentially, because all of these women involved in the fashion industry, they, most of them will lose their jobs from their work places, not because of 3D printing because of automation, and most probably because of artificial intelligence. At the same time, 3D printing which is probably the only adequate response for today, and because it will permit you to keep some workplaces, and all the specialists in this industry. 


[22:24] Maiko: Thank you very much for sharing your vision with us and telling us more about what you're doing right now. I wish you all the best for the next years to come. And yeah, hope all works out well, for you and for the industry. I think it's amazing to have a pioneer like you on the show. 

[22:41] Julia: Thank you so, much for the interesting questions. 

[22:43] Maiko: Thank you very much. Thanks for joining again.


[22:45] Julia: Thank you.