History of Ministry of Supply
Many industries have been disrupted by the new technologies of additive manufacturing and machine learning. For the most part, the fashion and clothing industries have not seen this disruption. Ministry of Supply is embracing additive manufacturing and machine learning to create product improvements in an industry that could avoid doing so at the current moment. Ministry of Supply was founded by MIT alums with the goal of providing high-tech and comfortable clothing that could also be professional and stylish. Designed in appearance for being in the office, these clothes are “breathable, waterproof, moisture wicking, and odor controlling, making for a streetwear-meets-sportswear hybrid”.  To prove just how comfortable they are, one of their co-founders even ran a marathon in a Ministry of Supply suit.
Use of 3D Printing and AI
As described by Ministry of Supply their 3D printed items, ranging from dresses to blazers to crew-necks are constructed with technology similar to 3D printing which “uses seamless design to create defined, sculpted shape with zero bulk that moves freely with your body”.  People are different shapes, so Ministry of Supply is working to use 3D printing technology to help consumers get clothes that were designed for their bodies. In addition to designing the shape, these 3D printed clothing options also take into account which areas of the item have the most strain on them and factor this into the design.  Beyond enhancing the current sizing and fit issues, 3D printed clothes offer a major sustainability benefit that traditional tailoring can’t match. The printing process for Ministry of Supply’s 3D printed items create close to no waste. Compared to the typical 30% waste that’s generated from traditional techniques, this advancement offers major improvements by utilizing an additive process rather than subtractive.  Furthermore, another sustainability benefit comes from the products simply being more durable than traditional fabrics. There are no seams in 3D printed clothing since it’s created through an additive process. The lack of seams helps in the way of durability as it reduces rips and tears.  Expected to be available in November 2018, Ministry of Supply’s Intelligent Heat Jacket uses AI and Machine learning to provide an optimal user experience. A “smart thermostat” within the jacket reacts to its environment (your surroundings and your body) and can adjust by providing up to 10 Watts of heat.  The jacket is able to seamlessly heat up based on your needs by using three carbon fiber heating devices which are each less than 1 millimeter thick. This jacket also offers an app and voice control functionality as well as wireless phone charging. 
Concerns related to 3D Printing and AI
The use of 3D printing and AI in Ministry of Supply’s products creates concerns around price point and employment. These items currently come at a higher price point than many of their competitor’s goods. As technological advancements improve and the product proves itself, this concern may dissipate. It certainly hasn’t slowed the company down thus far. Using 3D printing to create clothes eliminated the need to lay out fabric, cut a pattern, and sew the item.  This could have an impact on employment for the production side of clothing throughout the industry if the trend grows. Additionally, Ministry of Supply does face a risk of using technological advancements in an industry that hasn’t placed a focus on that need. For example, the enhanced fabrics used during the additive process may not hold the same esteem as traditional fabrics.
I would recommend that Ministry of Supply continue to use process improvement and product design megatrends in their products. This is unique for the industry which poses its own set of risks, however by embracing these technologies Ministry of Supply has a chance differentiate themselves within the market while providing a useful product.
The questions that I have for Ministry of Supply are around their innovation and use of new technologies. What does this company need to do while using innovative technologies to remain an accessible and practical option for consumers? What further innovations can be made to their existing products using machine learning?
 Ministry of Supply. “About Us.” Performance Professional Clothing for the Workday | Ministry of Supply, ministryofsupply.com/pages/about-us.
 Ducharme, Jamie. “This Guy Ran a Half Marathon in a Ministry of Supply Suit.” Boston Magazine, Boston Magazine, 9 Sept. 2016, www.bostonmagazine.com/health/2016/01/14/ministry-of-supply-marathon/.
 Ministry of Supply. “3D Print Knit Sweater”. https://ministryofsupply.com/products/3d-print-knit-sweater-dress-navy
 Leighton, Mara. “A Clothing Startup Founded by MIT Grads Is Using 3D Printing to Make Better, More Sustainable Clothes.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 6 Sept. 2017, www.businessinsider.com/ministry-of-supply-3d-printed-knits.
 Ministry of Supply. “Sustainability”. https://ministryofsupply.com/pages/sustainability
 Ministry of Supply. “Mercury Intelligent Heated Jacket”. https://ministryofsupply.com/products/mens-mercury-intelligent-heated-jacket-black
 Black, Erin. “This Self-Heating Jacket Knows How Cold You Are and Adjusts Accordingly.” CNBC, CNBC, 8 Mar. 2018, www.cnbc.com/2018/03/07/ministry-of-supply-self-heating-jacket-was-designed-by-mit-alumni.html.