University Scans Bodies For Better Kids Clothes

25 January 2013, 06:00

Childrenswear designers and retailers will be able to design and make better fitting clothes for British children from 4-17 years thanks to 3D scanning of children by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire.

The 3D data provided the basis of the new Shape GB Children’s Sizing Report launched this week by Alvanon, the world’s leading body shape analyst and supplier of technical fit mannequins, and Select research, Europe’s foremost sizing research company.

The Shape GB report is the result of a collaborative project between Alvanon, Select research, six of the UK’s leading childrenswear retailers and five universities, to develop an effective and real “working standard” for sizing clothes for British children.

Tony Rosella, course director and programme leader for fashion at the University of Hertfordshire, is one of the UK’s most experienced practitioners in 3D sizing and has been directly involved in the two years of meetings with retailers and Select Research which has helped to achieve the consensus of opinion for the new children’s sizing report.

Speaking to Heart, Tony said: "This collaboration offers real scope for consolidation of sizing in the making of children’s clothes long-term. Having a common standard will help retailers and designers to make better fitting clothes for British children – and the good news for parents is that whichever shop they go to, the children’s clothing will be more consistent in sizing."

Richard Barnes, managing director of Select Research explained: "The Shape GB report summarises the key findings of the original survey in which we scanned the bodies of over 2,500 children aged four to 17 in 12 different locations across England, Scotland and Wales, generating the most accurate and comprehensive database of children’s measurements and body shapes. The survey’s retail sponsors and academic collaborators have worked closely in the true spirit of co-operation with us and Alvanon to test and agree the key findings. Together we have decided that it is in the interest of everyone, including customers, to share this information with the wider industry."

Shape GB is a collaborative project between Alvanon, Select research and six of the UK’s leading childrenswear retailers, George at ASDA, M&S, Monsoon, Next, Shop Direct group and Tesco. Data collection collaborators included the University of Hertfordshire, Aston Universrity, University of Hull, Loughborough University and Manchester Metropolitan University.