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Manchester Fashion Institute partners with Coats Digital

By Veerle Versteeg



Manchester Fashion Institute educators explain VisionPLM software to students. Image courtesy of Coats Digital/Manchester Fashion Institute

The Manchester Fashion Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) has announced that it has partnered with Coats Digital, the software company of industrial thread manufacturer Coats Group, to help students better understand the fashion value chain.

Coats Digital joined forces with the educators of Manchester Metropolitan University to customise its VisionPLM (Product Lifecycle Management) software so it could be used in a classroom setting. The VisionPLM software is a digital platform that is used to improve the way the management of products from concept to delivery occurs.

The aim of the partnership is to “support the ongoing digitalization of the global fashion industry”, the press release reads, as well as to ultimately “support graduate employability by ensuring students have practical experience of solving real industry challenges with the very latest digital tools and skills.”

The company’s software solution will teach students how to use softwares for fashion project planning as well as product lifecycle management so they are prepared in the best way possible for industry projects. The software for instance helps students simulate project briefs.

The VisionPLM roll-out at MMU’s Manchester Fashion Institute took place on March 7. It was introduced in the classroom of first- and second-year bachelor students enrolled in the fashion buying and merchandising programme.

Students learned how building a comprehensive PLM can help them identify, measure and adapt the buying, product development and supply chain processes. This way, they can “support sustainable practices across the entire value chain” at the same time, the release reads.

Manchester Fashion Institute teams up with Coats Digital to customise software

Further steps to familiarise students with the software include a number of planned collaborations with key fashion brands with the aim to develop sustainable and socially responsible fashion products while encouraging sustainable practices in the industry as a whole.

Jackie Rayner, Senior Lecturer, Manchester Fashion Institute commented on the partnership in a release, saying: “Our partnership with Coats Digital will enable us to prepare our graduates for an industry that is rapidly being powered by technology and driven to deliver more sustainable practice across all areas of business.”

Anita Mitchell, digital lead at Manchester Metropolitan University added: “Manchester Fashion Institute is long regarded as a trail blazer with regards to its adoption of digital fashion technologies.”

“This latest collaboration with Coats Digital further strengthens the Manchester Fashion Institute’s goal to support the Fashion Industry by preparing a steady stream of future-proofed fashion professionals that are ready for the real world where Product Lifecycle Management is a de-facto strategic tool for the industry’s digital transformation.”

Julie Tubby, senior director of customer operations at Coats Digital, added on the company’s part: “The future of the fashion industry is increasingly being driven by technology."

“Students entering the industry need to understand how the rapid digitization of the fashion supply chain is changing the way that apparel is being manufactured and how true sustainable practices can be embedded into the production process from the very start of the design process.”

Fashion Education
Manchester Fashion Institute