News Bizwear Using ‘Crowd Wisdom’ to Improve Design

18 April 2018

Clothing designers tend to design for people, rather than with them; but as recently reported in fashion magazine Ragtrader, Bizwear is setting a new trend by taking a more collaborative approach.

The article, in Ragtrader’s April issue, focused on our recent work with Coles. This project saw us supply new uniforms for 85,000 supermarket employees across Australia.

Coles initially considered engaging a celebrity designer but ended up running with a more innovative idea from Bizwear: to open up the design process to RMIT students.

Bizwear general manager Mike Gluning, who serves on the Industry Advisory Group of RMIT’s School of Fashion and Textiles, saw the potential of ‘pitching in together’.

“Running a design competition allowed us to work with a whole crowd of creatives,” he says. “It was about moving away from top-down design and harnessing the power of collective thinking – not to mention giving design students invaluable real-world experience.”

Coles executives briefed the students on the company’s ‘fit for purpose’ workwear requirements and the students spent eight weeks working in small teams to develop their designs.

The second leg of ‘crowd wisdom’ came from within Coles, which sent every employee a survey asking for their feedback on the shortlisted designs. Their vote was a major factor in deciding the winner.

Ragtrader speculates that with the rise of social media, ‘crowd wisdom’ could one day replace much-used focus groups if other garment suppliers follow Bizwear’s lead.