Open Source Product Development in Fashion Industry


The fashion community is left behind. Almost everyday we hear news of fashion-technology sector (Google making fabric) and tech companies taking away our talent (Apple hires Burberry). The whole point is Tech-Industry is taking over fashion industry. The hard fact is that traditional companies and people in fashion industry will not survive their current jobs.

So here we are going to make a case

Why everyone in fashion should SERIOUSLY consider contributing back to fashion industry?

But before we do that, keep in mind we not asking you to work for FREE. It’s your job, your hard-work, your bread and butter. Keep making margins on production, consulting, trading, designing or whatever you are doing.

However we would like to introduce the idea of building an open source fashion environment and contributing our resources to the community. At Google, Apple, Facebook and many other medium and small technology companies are encouraging their employees to contribute to open source and they can spend one day a week (20% of their work hours) contributing to any open source they wish.

Why? Ask any programmer or developer and they will tell you how much they benefit from belonging to an open source community. It helped them to establish reputation,gain respect and valuable experience. In return the tech companies gain faster innovations. Even their hiring process now also include analysis on the applicants' contributions to open source community.

Now let's compare this to fashion industry. Which company do we know is participating in any open source project? We can not think of any. (If you know any, please leave a comment below.) The fashion industry has long been rusted by the mentality of distrusts and alleging infringements on each other. Unless we can create an open source environment within fashion community that we can learn more, know more, CONTRIBUTE more, and work smarter; we could suffer the same fate as newspaper industry and print industry. We need to keep reinventing ourselves.

"Unless we can create an open source environment within fashion community that we can learn more, know more, CONTRIBUTE more, and work smarter; we could suffer the same fate as newspaper industry and print industry." - Saral Kochar, CEO Techpacker.

What is the role of Techpacker?

Techpacker has designed a very unique, first of its kind platform for the fashion community. Our aim is to open these closed gates of fashion industry that is very cautious and reserved when it comes to sharing individual resources.

Techpacker is working on instigating collaborations among leading fashion designers, technical designers, product developers and factories from around the world. Together we contribute and share our experiences and expertise not only to help the industry but to learn from and collaborate with each other. During the research and development stages of Techpacker, we found that approximately 60% of the information on a related style that goes on a techpack (spec/sheet) can be shared.

Therefore, Techpacker is inviting the whole fashion community to join hands to create one of the largest open source library in the world. Consisting of sketches, flats, sewing & seam diagrams, Point of Measurements diagrams, materials such as zippers, label, buttons, etc... this open source design library will be able to better the way we work and better the way we design. Every user on our system, be it with FREE subscription, can make the most of this resource library and use it in their projects. We do highly encourage you to contribute back to the community and grow your open source portfolio.

Techpacker is NOT a Factory. And neither do we believe in taking jobs away from anyone anywhere. Techpacker’s job is to provide and facilitate tools that are necessary for collaboration between designers and factories around the world. We distinguish ourselves as facilitator and creating the perfect environment for togetherness in fashion industry. Therefore we are working with many organizations and schools around the world who shares the same vision such as Manufacture New York, TML-To Make Locally (Hong Kong) and others by sharing our knowledge and tools, such as our web based 'product development management solution with visual interface and desktop as well as mobile integration.

If you believe in what we do or want to learn more or would like to contribute and share your experience or resources to help the fashion community, simply email me directly at Saral@techpacker.com or leave me comments below. We will reach out to you and work together to bring a better future for the fashion industry. We will provide all tools necessary to make it easy for you to contribute.

Follow us on


The author is the CEO at Techpacker. He lives on a boat, walks to work, mediates and enjoy hiking. He graduated from London College of Fashion with product Design Development degree. He has worked as a Product Developer at American Eagle Outfitters, Li & Fung and most recently run a successful denim trading company Indigod.


with Techpacker.com 'make it happen'