Three-Dimensional Body Scanning in Sustainable Product Development: An Exploration of the Use of Body Scanning in the Production and Consumption of Female Apparel

  • Louise F. ReidEmail author
  • Gianpaolo Vignali
  • Katharine Barker
  • Courtney Chrimes
  • Rachel Vieira


The fashion industry is plagued with complications regarding garment sizing and inadequate fit. Inconsistent sizing systems, coupled with the lack of attention by industry in understanding deviations in female body shapes, not only impose severe implications upon the consumer decision-making process but also inflict issues regarding sustainability. As a result of recent advancements in technology, three-dimensional (3D) body scanning has been argued to be the solution to these issues, by providing a more sustainable method of clothing production and distribution, as well as enhancing apparel fit. Indeed, 3D body scanning technology has the ability to capture replicable and more consistent data sets than manual measurement collection. However, this chapter challenges the current application of 3D body scanning in apparel production by addressing two vital limitations. The first challenge explored is the incompatibility of 3D body scan measurements with manual product practices. Second, consumer fit preferences are often overlooked by body shape and measurement. Hence, this chapter reasons that only when these key limitations are addressed can 3D body scanning help facilitate sustainable practice and provide retailers with enough information to develop well-fitted apparel.


3D body scanning Technology Clothing size Body shape Sustainability 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louise F. Reid
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gianpaolo Vignali
    • 2
  • Katharine Barker
    • 3
  • Courtney Chrimes
    • 2
  • Rachel Vieira
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of GloucestershireCheltenhamUK
  2. 2.University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  3. 3.Alliance Manchester Business SchoolUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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