by Sade Korbieh


The Hazards of Fashion

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5787 pounds of clothing goes into landfills every second according to WRI.org. That is equal to 34 people that are 170 pounds being thrown away every second imagine that! So many garments, extra materials, end up in our landfills every day and this is not good for our environment. If we keep going at this rate, we are going to eventually start seeing the effects on the planet.

While there are many great companies that are coming along to fight this fight through creating more sustainable materials, such as Evernu, which is an innovative modern technology that recycles post-consumer cotton textile waste to create premium, renewable fiber. It isn't enough. What we need is to slow down the amount of clothing that is being produced.

We live in a world of fast fashion which is categorized as an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.

After searching for ways to combat the problem of fast fashion, one of the things I landed on was Digital Fashion. We all know how gamers can buy special clothing for their avatars, but what if we could do this for ourselves as well? What if the pictures we posted to our social media could be of us in these digitally created items? Well, it is actually possible, and it is a new emerging market in the fashion industry.

A New Way to Fashion

Digital Fashion would be a way for designers, creators, and artists to get into the fashion industry in a completely new way. With the rise of COVID-19, the transition to digital-first has been extrapolated. Looking at the amount of time we spend on zoom, social media, gaming, and interacting online, it only makes sense. It would be easier than ever to put your best foot forward in the digital world without ever having to worry about making a physical impact on the planet. The only resources that would be wasted are data.

Digital fashion has been around for years. It was mostly found in the gaming industry because people tend to buy clothing for their avatars, but now you can be your own avatar. The items you could buy have no digital constraints to them. This is a chance to truly express yourself without the worries of an item not fitting or impacting the environment negatively.

Over the next 10 years, the online fashion industry will only continue to grow as we explore the diverse ways that it can be used whether it is in AR/VR, Social Media, Gaming, Brand Awareness, Blockchain, etc.

In fact, there are multiple companies getting into this space. Companies that currently have completely digital brands are Republiqe which is a high-end digital fashion brand and a pioneer in the space. The founder James G. is deeply passionate about the digital space. Each item is made with great attention to detail just look at this outfit!

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Whenever you buy an item such as this from the website the process after is super simple. You send in a picture of yourself, and in 1 to 3 days you will be sent the final product of you in your newly acquired digital outfit. Right now, the main use case for these items is to post to social media. Because of this at the early stages, we are more likely to see social media influencers using this item, seeing that they are constantly looking to boost their brands in creative ways.

Once these sites are able to make it where your clothing can be automatically placed on you without the wait time, I can see more growth happening. This is because as many may or may not know attention spans are becoming lower and lower. They do not want to wait for things. If the consumer is able to gain automatic gratification that becomes a win for the business. As AI grows, I can see this becoming possible for these different clothing items.

Digital Fashion is a way for us to express ourselves through new media. As we spend more and more time online, it is logical that we will be able to customize our personas more and more.

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Spread the Word

While the adoption of digital fashion is something I see as a slow and methodical process, I am excited about the future. There are already companies forming in this space trying to break the barriers down one of my personal favorites being the Fabricant. They have a wide range of digital outfits have worked with major brands such as Puma and Tommy Hilfiger.

These types of collaborations are helping to bring more awareness to the different ways in which fashion can be made. What makes the Fabricant really special is that they have digital items you can get for free and alter them just to play around with the composition. I downloaded one of their items and here is the before and after!

Fabricant

Fabricant

In fact, the Fabricant helps to break down the barriers to entry in the digital fashion space because you can begin to learn with products they have already created. Artists will be able to evolve the way they create and express themselves through these new projects. Some of the design software that is used to create these items is CLO and Marvelous Designer.

While digital fashion can never completely replace physical clothing, I believe digital fashion is a wonderful way to slow down consumption because people will be able to continue to express themselves online while not necessarily having to buy the item physically. As the industry expands, I can see the use cases expanding as well as becoming more integrated with other industries.

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