Tech start-up Inkse aims to disrupt and democratise the fashion industry

Inkse founder Matt Zylstra. (Source: Supplied.)

Tech start-up Inkse had its launch this month with a mission to revolutionise the way Australian creatives approach fashion design and production. 

Founded by tech expert Matthew Zylstra, Inske offers an end-to-end web platform that manages the entire fashion business process from product design to fulfilment, removing the traditional barriers to entry commonly associated with the fashion sector while creating opportunities for creatives of any skill level to break into an industry that has been traditionally hard to get into.

Fashion designers simply choose styles from Inkse’s large library of exclusive silhouettes, add a customised artwork, choose a responsibly sourced fabric and the order quantity (with a minimum of 30 units, which is uncommon in the industry). Inkse then handles production using traceable recycled fabrics from Repreve, among other materials such as linen or BCI cotton depending on the design, and delivers the products within eight weeks.

Matthew Zylstra, who is also a coding expert, created Inkse with the intention to challenge the fashion industry status quo by democratising fashion design and development globally, encouraging more individuals to become fashion entrepreneurs and while reducing the waste being caused by fast fashion. 

“We all know those great Aussies fashion start-up stories, those household names who cut their teeth in the city markets,” he said. We’re an industry built on go-getting entrepreneurs, but for too long opportunity has been thwarted by industry norms that stifle innovation; minimum orders, complicated supply chains, and production lead times that see stock land after trends have already passed. It’s our burning belief that fashion can be done better. The market simply can’t keep up with what consumers want anymore, and creatives are put off when they consider the complex production journey or the possibility of overstock.

“Inkse is built to give power back to creatives that want to break into fashion design whatever their capabilities,” Zylstra added. “It could be boutique owners wanting to develop their own brand; influencers wanting to expand their lifestyle offering; or a brewer or restaurant wanting to break into merch. Essentially, anyone wanting to flex their fashion muscle with less risk.”

Inkse is already planning its next stage of innovation, investing in world-first AI programming that aims to tackle some of the challenges designers face when creating patterns.

“In some ways, fashion is genuinely transformative, for example we’ve seen the massive growth of 3D printing, new approaches to managing fabric life cycles and integration of AI into production,” Zylstra said. “But there’s always room for improvement, and Inkse’s mission is to use technology to lead a revolution in the sector, while breaking down any exclusivity barriers. The potential for Inkse in Australia is great, our research shows a significant number of Aussies are looking for help to start a fashion business. With Inkse at their fingertips, our vision is to empower them to bring their entrepreneurial dreams to life.”

Creating an account with Inkse is free with users only paying for what they purchase and delivery costs.

This story was originally published on Inside Small Business.

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