Dante6: “TCOG’s technology makes our sustainability mission possible”
Fashion brand Dante6 is changing its delivery system and is taking a step towards a fundamental change in the fashion system. Thanks to a cooperation with TCOG and the right data, the fashion company can respond better to the needs of the consumer. Shorter lead times and compact capsule collections should contribute to a healthy, fair chain.
The world after corona will no longer be the same, that is one thing that is certain. This applies to many industries and certainly also to the fashion industry. Dante6 was the first Dutch player to sign #rewiringfashion, an initiative for and by international designers, CEO’s and retailers to change the fashion calendar. “We were all in a kind of rat race: it had to be faster and faster. But that stops once”, explains Arlette Huisman, CEO at Dante6.
Time for change
Huisman herself never understood why fashion labels deliver winter collections in the middle of summer and vice versa. “Collections do not fit in with changing weather patterns and trend needs,” she says. “For example, the current system has damaged the entire chain and the calendar will have to be adjusted in order to protect the financial health and, in particular, the welfare of people, animals and nature”. In concrete terms, this means that Dante6 decided not to deliver any goods in July and August. For many retailers, who have seen their stocks piling up recently as a result of declining sales, this news comes at an opportune moment. The delivery schedule is postponing by two months: this year’s autumn-winter collections will be delivered for the first time from September, when autumn actually begins. Dante6 will continue to do so in 2021.
Data as the leading factor
Behind the scenes, Dante6 carefully prepared the new strategy in recent years. The automation of the business processes was an important part of this. Huisman: “Sneakily we have been manipulating the delivery schedule, for example by delivering winter sweaters in December. Thanks to TCOG’s solution, we have the right information to quickly see what is happening. We analysed data from our own stores and e-commerce and that of some retailers. They confirmed what we already thought.” It turns out that half of the collection is eventually sold, which is a mortal shame of the margin and leads to an unnecessary amount of remaining stock. Dante6 was only looking for the moment to change tack. The arrival of the coronavirus accelerated everything.
COVID-19 as a wake up call
Sustainability is one of the biggest challenges in the fashion industry. The COVID-19 crisis is a wake up call for everyone that something has to change. “Research shows that Generation Z is willing to pay more for clothing with a lower environmental impact,” says Rembrandt Kuijpers, Managing Partner at TCOG. “The story behind a brand is becoming increasingly important and sustainability is an important part of that”. Huisman’s adds: “That goes beyond the use of recycled materials, to name but one example. Sustainability is also about healthy working conditions for suppliers, shorter lead times and more efficient use of valuable raw materials and time. Since we have become automated, we are much smarter with our stocks, which leads to less waste. This has a positive effect on all sides”.
In addition to adjusting the delivery system, Dante6 has realised a digital showroom in recent months. The brand already used a B2B sales tool with which agents and representatives can present the collection on an iPad. In addition, there is a B2B portal on which retailers can place repeat orders. The digital showroom is in fact an extension of these two tools. After logging in, customers can view photos, lookbooks and videos of the collection. Huisman: “Because of the COVID-19 measures, we had to play ball briefly. Fortunately, the marketing team has a lot of knowledge, because we have supervised dozens of photo shoots in recent years, so we built a photo studio at home where we shot both the ‘stills’ and the moving image with the right equipment”.
Kuijpers calls Dante6 a perfect example of a fashion brand that embraces technology and uses it in the way it is intended. “Of course you have to be willing and have the guts to invest in it.” By streamlining the business processes in cooperation with TCOG, Dante6 has more control over the production process. “For us it is important to collect as much data as possible and thus take a look at the brain of the consumer, because he is ‘leading’, concludes Huisman. “Adjusting the delivery system means that our collections are more in line with demand and the season. In this way we want to show the entire chain that a healthy, responsible and successful fashion industry is feasible. Technology is an important accelerator in this respect, which means that you can actually take steps”.