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N17 Creative Callings: Employer Engagement Session with ASOS & Kornit Digital


On 21st October 2021 Fashion-Enter hosted an employer engagement workshop as part of the N17 Creative Callings project.  

Guest speakers from ASOS and Kornit Digital led the way in this hugely insightful employer engagement workshop aimed at new business start-ups as well as more established clothing brands.  

Caroline Ash, Production Director at Fashion-Enter Ltd

The aim of the workshop was to learn from the experts, including how has ASOS evolved and successfully navigated the ecommerce market over the last 21 years since its inception in 2000, and what are the latest manufacturing technologies that can support brands from design to delivery. 

The three-hour employer engagement session took place in Unit 4 at Fashion-Enter’s Factory. It commenced with an introduction and overview of Fashion-Enter Ltd with Caroline Ash, Production Director, who then introduced the first guest speaker, Jackie Bertram, UK Production Planner for ASOS.  

Jackie Bertram, UK Production Planner at ASOS

Jackie delivered a highly inspiring and insightful talk on speed to market discussing both the challenges that all retailers face and the goals set out by ASOS to overcome these challenges. She explained that although ASOS was classed as fast fashion it still had values and a responsibility to be as sustainable as possible. So whilst speed to market and getting the product to the customer quickly is the goal, it is also as equally as important to have integrity and ensure every touch point of this process is actioned in the right way.  

Part of Jackie’s role as UK Production Planner is to make UK production a competitive advantage by achieving excellent speed to market through strong supplier partnerships, efficient production and living by ASOS’s values.  

She explained that during the pandemic 50 stores a week were closing, and online sales saw 10 years’ worth of growth in just three months. Ecommerce is undeniably unstoppable, and it is about capitalising on this rising market. The old way of shopping has gone so brands also have to change rapidly and realise that a best seller last year won’t be a best seller this year. The customer wants a product now, it must be instant, new, bespoke or personalised. It is all about evolving with your customer.  

Jackie discussed what the values of ASOS are and described the brand as authentic, brave, creative and disciplined to the core. Its target market is 20 somethings, and she explained that whilst lots of older ages do shop on ASOS they have to ensure their target is always those in their 20’s or there is a danger of trying to be ‘everything to everyone’ and that would mean losing their identify.  

Goals for the next 10-years for ASOS are simple – planet and people – two pillars of opportunity to strive towards. The aim to recycle and repurpose more, and offer more personalised products to customers.  

There was so much information and insight attendees could take from this talk with Jackie. Thank-you so much to Jackie for your time.  

Next up, and a discussion that followed on perfectly was from Scott Walton from Kornit Digital.  

Scott Walton, Kornit Digital

Kornit Digital is an Israeli-American international manufacturing company. It produces high-speed industrial inkjet printers, and pigmented ink and chemical products for the garment and apparel, home goods, and textile accessories decorating industry. 

Scott explained that 30% of items that are made are never sold, and 21 million tons of textiles are wasted. However, the potential with Kornit Digital and developing the micro-factory concept is that this eliminates excess production, and slow reactivity. A product doesn’t need to made until it is sold! 

Scott explained how the digital printer operates and what makes it the most ethical and sustainable digital printer in the world. Attendees were truly inspired by what the printer can achieve and how it can print direct to garment and additionally create an embroidered effect on fabric.  

A huge thank-you to Scott for talking to our designers and attendees, who left feeling extremely inspired and excited for these cutting-edge, on-site facilities.  

Feedback included:  

“This was amazing. 5 stars!” – Paul 

“I have learnt so much, good balance of topics. The speakers were very honest.” – Claire 

“Very insightful and useful. Would like another workshop to show how the machines works!” – Lauren  

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