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In Conversation with Fawad Shah, COO, Lulusar

Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lulusar, Fawad Shah, shares his thoughts on technology in the fashion industry, the impact of the COVID-19 on businesses, sustainability, and the future of fashion.

Lulusar is a fast-fashion brand for independent and progressive women that offers trendy clothing at an affordable price.

What differentiates Lulusar from other fashion brands?

Lulusar has a very unique business model of on-demand manufacturing with a new collection launch every week. We work on 12 micro-seasons every year and our concept to in store is approximately 20 days. We have more than 50 launches each year and take 3 days from order to exit for delivery.

How is Lulusar leveraging technology in their processes?

Lulusar has a very unique business model of on-demand manufacturing with a new collection launch every week. We work on 12 micro-seasons every year and our concept to in store is approximately 20 days. more than 50 launches each year and take 3 days from order to exit for delivery.

Currently, we use multiple digital solutions such as Clo3d and Tukatech which has helped us reduce both development time and cost.

We are a digital brand run with an on-demand manufacturing model and bank a lot on analytics to help us drive sales and determine production for products doing well in the portfolio. This is a firm step in working with a very lean inventory and helps with decision-making and designing based on customer demand.

Lulusar has also recently started using QUONDA – a Triple Tree product for quality assurance requirements at our micro-factory. Currently, we look at two aspects of quality checks: in-line and finished products. Going forward, we expect to use QUONDA for all stages of our production cycle to maintain high quality standards at our micro-factory.

What are some advantages/benefits of using digital solutions?

Digital solutions save us a lot of time and money. They also give us more space to play around and experiment with new designs, fits, textiles, products, and more. The use of digital solutions makes it easy for us to be more consumer focused and allows us to take quick action based on customer feedback and complaints.

At Lulusar, we have a zero-tolerance policy towards manufacturing defects and QUONDA has been a helpful tool in upholding our rigorous quality standards. With the option of customizing defect options in our dashboard and uploading photographs of defected pieces, QUONDA has helped us identify issues that are now being solved. Moreover, the live updates and quality reports being sent periodically to all relevant parties is quite pertinent to our needs and helps with the transparency of the reporting structure.

Going digital is not optional anymore, it’s becoming critical for any organization’s survival and sustainability.

How has the pandemic impacted your business and what changes have you made as a result?

The pandemic has made consumers realize the importance of having access to everything through their phones anytime, anywhere and getting solutions delivered right to their doorsteps.

As a result, this gave us the push to grow further since we were already invested in digital solutions and e-commerce platforms.

Sustainability is an important topic in the fashion industry, what initiatives is Lulusar taking to be more sustainable?

We are a data-driven company and like to rely on technology. Currently, the entire manufacturing at our factory is completely waterless! We don’t use a single drop of water in our processes.

Additionally, we are an on-demand manufacturing company so we don’t overproduce to bulk up the inventory and later force the consumer to buy our products through different promotions.

We’re also working towards developing and using fabric produced from recycled plastic, which will be a big step for us in our vision to be more sustainable.

In your opinion, what do you think the future of fashion looks like considering the changing consumer behavior/habits?

The future of fashion is going to be all about consumer convenience and experience. I believe that in the coming years, there will be a shift towards smart, consumer-focused businesses that don’t require big retail stores. More importance will be placed on the product and purchase experience, which will require digital acceptance from brands and companies.

Brands will need to offer consumers a compelling reason to visit stores that would justify their exposure to health risks and overcome the inertia of the behaviors adopted during lockdown. Additionally, instead of selling what they want, brands will have to focus on what the consumer wants and offer a more personalized experience.

Retailers will need to offer a simple and seamless e-commerce experience — from browsing to researching, selecting, purchasing, and then returning/exchanging. Customers will no longer tolerate sub-par digital shopping experiences that they may have before the crisis.

Technology is taking it to the next level, from AR/VR dressing rooms to temperature-changing smart fabrics which is beyond future.

In Conversation with Fawad Shah, COO, Lulusar
Triple Tree Solutions
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Published 24. November 2020