Sustainable fashion is more than just a buzzword for the brand we are interviewing today. Atalyé is bringing innovation to the fashion field in their own way, by using technology to avoid waste and to include every and all body type. The fabric of their made-to-measure garments is sized and cut using 3D body scan technology in combination with Atalyé’s automatic pattern generator software.
How did Atalyé get started?
Tal didn’t originally see herself in fashion. She is a product designer with experience in interior design. However, one day she came across an article announcing the tragic collapse of a clothing factory in Bangladesh in 2015. A bit later, she read another article about an app that scans the body to determine size. This was the moment she realized there was something to be done with sustainability, made-to-measure clothing, and technology.
“It reminded me of my parents’ stories of how in Israel of the 1950s there weren’t any [retail] chains and you’d go twice a year to the tailor.”
Tal wanted to merge the traditional art of making made-to-measure garments and technology. With no experience in fashion or tech, Tal had the opportunity to enroll in a master’s program specializing in entrepreneurship in fashion with a focus on sustainability.
“It was an amazing opportunity for me to turn this idea into something tangible,” she recalls. “At the end of our studies, each person had their own booth to present their business to people from the industry and there was a prize. My business won the prize, so I decided that I’m really going to go for it.”
Atalyé manages to mix fashion and tech in a unique way. Can you explain to us how your 3D body scan technology works?
We are currently using 3D body scanners that are often used more for health purposes at the moment, but we use them to get customers’ measurements in a few seconds. The customer comes in, steps into the scanning fitting room, stands still for a few seconds, and walks out - it’s that easy! But 3D body scan technology is just one part of the technology of Atalyé.
Our true innovation is that we are developing a bespoke pattern generator software. This means that instead of having a tailor manually measure customers and then alter the pattern by hand, our system takes the measurements from the scanning and adapts the pattern to the customer automatically. This makes production much more efficient and less labor-intensive as well.
Sustainability is one of the core values of the brand, and your care for the materials and production choices comes with it. What fabrics are you using at the moment? And what features do you look for?
Our goal is not just to make the production chain more time efficient and less labor-intensive by using technology. We also really believe in rethinking the way we produce and consume. That’s why we focus on made-to-measure womenswear clothing. It’s now a known fact that the fashion industry overproduces and pollutes to get rid of inventory.
Additionally, 62% of women do not find clothing that fits them well, and 57% of women do not fit into today’s standardized sizes. Today’s standardized system is very defective. Every brand and every manufacturer has its own set of references. Inconsistent sizes not only confuse the consumers and create frustration during their purchasing experience, but it also causes them to return the clothing they have purchased. Today, 72% of shoppers use fit predictors and size charts to order clothes online and 37% buy more than one size of the same garment in order to receive the right size. 5 billion pounds of waste is caused by apparel returns each year, adding 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
Our solution is to make clothing made for each and every woman on-demand within a few days due to technology and also local sourcing and manufacturing.
What inspires you when creating your garments?
We create from a technical pattern making point of view and not conceptual or artistic. We work from the basic block pattern as a starting point and then see what is the best way to offer a variety of elegant and timeless choices for our customers. Atalyé is a proof of concept showing to the rest of the industry that made-to-measure clothing can reach the mass market and be a responsible alternative to fashion.
What do you have in store for the new year?
In May 2022, we will introduce our summer collection in a pop-up store at Denim City Amsterdam. Our collection is composed of 3 dresses, 4 tops, and 2 skirts. Each item can be customized in length, sleeve style, and fabric color. Those options result in many design combinations.
For example, we have a classic fitted dress in 4 different fabric colors, 3 sleeve options (or sleeveless), 2 neck shapes, and 3 different length options. That creates 4X3X2X3=72 design options for one dress. You can customize the item on the website and see the differences in our 3D object.
We are looking to collaborate with bigger brands in the second half of the year, by offering them the Atalyé service. The Atalyé service is actually implementing the Atalyé concept as a couple collection in the brand. We think our work will be more impactful if we offer our services to different brands. We aim to start working with an international fashion brand in order to show that made-to-measure can be implemented in the mass market with the help of technology, Atalyé innovative software, and local production. Our vision for the future is
No more sizes and inventory. Just our bodies, on-demand production, and time-efficient assembly chain.
Words by Mara Bande