Socks Redux

10 years ago I wrote about SaaS, which in our real-world dictionary means Socks-as-a-Service. Fast forward to this day, and we have a few boutique textile manufacturers who deliver socks via subscription service and at least pretend to model their customer needs. Slow, but at least some progress.

At the same time, Fast Fashion is producing single-or-few-use clothing in unprecedented quantities, generating ever more waste and degraded quality, at the expense of our environment. Yes, new materials are being taken into use, but still no-one cares about the product once it goes out from the shop door.

Socks-as-a-Service just needs enough leadership and wisdom from the textile industry. Having Digital Pairs for each product would be good and sustainable business, but it does require breaking some of the old wholesale and retail models, while preparing for mass-customization and perpetual customer relationships. Large cloud providers like Amazon, Google and Alibaba know this and gradually eat away once strong brands by grinding their customer data so that eventually Amazocks or Alisocks are good enough for the end user.

You as a clothing/textile manufacturer, do you choose the slow death for your business by giving everything digital to others? Will your brand exist in 50 or 100 years? These choices are made now, and they are mostly digital. Own and talk to your customers.


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