Joining this year’s speaker lineup at Digital Textile Printing is Sanjeev Menon, Founder and CEO of Stitchmob, which is an online platform that enables aspiring new designers and influencers to create and sell their own collections of custom printed clothing.
Ahead of his presentation on Stitchmob’s journey into creating a workflow for young talent, and the endless possibilities that digital print brings to the fashion ecosystem; Sanjeev shared why it’s important to always be on top of trends in market disrupters, as well as be an early adopter of new technologies?
Tell us about building a business model that caters to the millennial consumer, and how using digital print helped in facilitating your success?
When it comes to millenials and retail, it's no secret that they are seeking an experience more than just a product.
We catered to this by creating a collaboration-based platform that bridges the gap between designers and consumers; where anyone is free to create and sell their own printed clothing designs, and buyers ultimately decide which products actually get made.
Through this process of co-creation, consumers aren't just coming to another store - they're coming to see what their favourite influencer has created, they're coming to discover new designers, they're coming to find something that's not worn by a hundred other people on the street. It's a much more inclusive and personal experience.
From a practical perspective, this wouldn't be possible if we were looking at traditional MOQs in the hundreds of pieces. Our exclusive use of digital print technologies forms the backbone of our supply chain, and allows us to produce custom printed clothing in quantities as low as a single piece. In doing so, we lower barriers to entry for our creators, and are able to offer that world of choice that our consumers seek.
What would you say was the greatest advantage to your digital adoption? What has been the biggest challenge?
Our storefront is purely digital at this stage, and the greatest advantage is that this allows us to speak with a global audience - without having to leave the office seat. We're based in Singapore, but we have designers from over 15 countries and counting right now. It's fantastic for our designers and buyers too - to reach and discover people from across the world, through one single platform.
It would be all sunshine and rainbows if we weren't in a time where there are more online clothing stores than ever before. The challenge herein is to be able to stand out through all the noise. We believe the trick to this again comes back to being able to engage our audience by providing something that is truly unique.
Why is it important to always be on top of trends in market disrupters, and why do you feel it’s important to be an early adopter of new technologies?
It's tough to juggle rapidly changing consumer tastes, an increasingly saturated retail environment, shorter seasons AND maintain a sustainable outlook if we're not looking at new technologies. These technologies allow us to stay competitive while we're nimble enough to adopt them quickly.
For a startup like us, "staying ahead of the game" is survival; "keeping up" is extinction.
What is one thing you want people to know about Stitchmob?
We're here to blend the latest in production technologies with an all-inclusive community of creatives to sustainably produce some beautiful clothing.
What are you most looking forward to hearing at Digital Print for Textiles 2018?
I'm very much looking forward to hearing about the latest technologies in digital textiles and meeting with potential partners to discuss how we may play a role in their adoption.