Ridestore is an online-focused retailer of winter and outdoor apparel. Originating as a small e-commerce company in 2006, they have since grown to be a diverse and dedicated global team of over 200 employees based all over the world. Being a remote company with a production office in Gothenburg, Sweden, Ridestore focuses on delivering the best service and products to their international customers. In 2017, they started using CLO and implementing 3D into their product development processes in aims of finding a way to accurately communicate patterns and fit changes.
At the time, their garment technician started playing around with CLO, and upon realizing that they could export pattern files from CLO, they jumped into the idea of implementing CLO into their garment development processes with both feet. Very quickly, CLO became their go-to tool, using CLO for everything from initial creation and evaluation to fit and product development. “The ability to change and fix things before going to physical samples was truly a huge leap forward for us in refining our internal processes. The idea of drafting patterns today without using CLO really is unthinkable for the whole pattern team at Ridestore.” Says Linnea, the 3D Project Leader at Ridestore. “For us, now, if we get an idea, we can draft it the same afternoon in CLO. New products can be created easily, and continue to evolve as the team provides feedback and gives their thoughts. We can change design and fit, as well as altering the more technical aspects of the garments with mock ups to ensure it’s possible to produce the garments on larger scales.” CLO helps their entire team to stay in tune, and keeps everyone looped in as the designs develop.
The drafts which they create with CLO are now considered first samples, which has been a game-changer, and has enabled them to be a lot more agile and adaptive in terms of their entire product development process. Physical samples are now ordered only once the design and fit alterations have been made in CLO, which cuts down on both time and product waste within their garment development. “The finished products are almost always direct replications of the latest digital version. 3D design is now a natural, essential part of our product development, instead of being an extra task to perform.”
Moreover, using their digital garments made in CLO, they are able to gather feedback from other departments such as Marketing, Customer Experience and most importantly, their customers. “We usually produce several iterations in a range of colorways and styles, and offer these directly to the customers, who ultimately will be buying them, to see what they like. In the lead up to production, customers are able to vote on their favorite designs using an interactive poll made possible with our digital garments. We then send the most popular choices to production.” This method of direct customer feedback integration has changed their decision making process regarding their final orders. “Besides not wasting money and avoiding big season sales, this new garment development process has had a large impact on our sustainability. We strongly believe that the most environmentally friendly jacket is the one that is not produced. If we can fine-tune our range and tailor it to the demand, we can avoid overstocking, and ultimately, needless waste.”
Ridestore continues to improve their skills and workflows with every season, utilizing CLO more effectively in their product development. “When we first started, we were often frustrated that we had to complement the 3D draft with a flat black and white sketch to show details such as top stitches clearly to the factory. Now, CLO has this function built-in. With the development and refinement of the features within CLO, such as rendering multiple colorways and the expressions of finer details such as puckering, we are able to move more of our product development steps into the software. We can express more details clearly than we ever could before.”
In addition, Ridestore has always been passionate about achieving complete inclusivity in terms of the wide range of body shapes and sizes their customers may have. CLO’s avatar editor has allowed them to test their fits on a wider range of body types and sizes, helping them to work towards their aim of complete inclusivity, “We have also worked a lot with virtual versions of our Alvanon mannequins to fit our garments. Working with fit in CLO is interesting, especially with sportswear, as you can make the avatar move into any in-action pose, and customize the pattern changes to increase movability.”
A popular feature on Ridestore’s e-commerce site is their Style Creator. The Style Creator enables Customers to put together their own individualized snow outfit, and to see what products fit together. In the past, Ridestore built these outfits using photographs, which involved an immense amount of manual editing work. This year, however, they finally made the jump to using 3D images within their style creator— and the future has never looked brighter. “Having most of our products in 3D opens new doors and we recently completed our first animated movie to use for marketing content.”
When asking about Ridestore’s future outlook with CLO, Linnea showcases great excitement for what is to come, “We are excited to see what lies ahead, and what further benefits this advancing technology can bring to our product development and company as a whole. We’re continually seeing improvements to the buying and user experience thanks to CLO, and it feels great to be a company that is up to speed with development. We can’t wait for more 3D adventures as we look to innovate further within this amazing technological sphere, utilizing our digital garments to streamline our processes, reduce our carbon footprint and wastage, and connect with our customers in ways they, and we, have never experienced before.”
From simplifying internal communication and providing a more agile and adaptive garment development process, CLO has successfully managed to streamline Ridestore’s entire workflow starting from the initial creation and evaluation stage, to product development, e-commerce and marketing.
To find out more about Ridestore visit http://www.ridestore.com