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Imagine wearing a designer outfit from head-to-toe while never actually changing out of your sweats. This is the potential future thanks to digital fashion, an emerging industry where the visual representation of clothing is built with augmented reality and 3D rendering software.
And major brands are paying attention because these digital creations can be made and sold online with proof of exclusive ownership — and therefore scarcity — thanks to NFTs (non-fungible tokens). NFTs are created like cryptocurrency but aren’t usable in the way a currency normally is. Instead, the digital asset is held on the blockchain, proving the transaction. This allows limited edition creations to be limited in ownership, as in real life, while as digital objects.
- Earlier this summer, a digital Gucci bag sold for $4,000 on Roblox, a popular online platform for building and playing games. That same bag in real life (or rather, its physical form) goes for $3,000.
- Back in March, digital-only fashion brand RTFKT launched a virtual sneaker collection. Each sold for at least $5,000 while the line as a whole brought in over $3 million.
The promise of digital fashion was further realized amidst pandemic shutdowns, especially during Helsinki Fashion Week 2020 where the Finland event went fully digital. Roughly 31 designers presented their collections through avatars in a social metaverse while attendees were able to immediately try on digitized runway pieces before pre-ordering.
In just a few years, we might all be using virtual fitting rooms and buying off the runway, too. While most digital fashion options are currently pricey luxuries, DressX has a selection of more affordable items as well. Customers use the DressX shopping app to try on digital pieces in real-time, and purchase by attaching an image or video of themselves at checkout. They then “receive” their outfit within two days, which is the submitted video but with the customer now wearing the purchased item.
And given the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, companies like DressX are working to reduce that impact without sacrificing the fashion. A company study showed that creating a single digital garment not only emits 97% less CO2 than a physical garment, but saves an average of 793 gallons of water. But for those engaged in the NFT marketplaces, some are concerned about the amount of power NFTs require.
🎬 Take Action
While most digital fashion isn’t affordable for the mass market yet, it’s important to be cautious of other ways to reduce your individual impact. Learn more from our our 2-minute read on faster than fast fashion retailer Shein to learn how some businesses are growing.
- Dazed (Where we found this story) 8 weeks old | 13 minutes long
- Elle Luxury digital clothing 2 years old | 9 minutes long
- Sustain Your Style Combatting fashion’s environmental impact 4 years old | 9 minutes long
- Hypebeast Digital Gucci products sold on Roblox 4 weeks old | 2 minutes long
- Women’s Wear Daily More on DressX (and their NFTs) 1 month old | 6 minutes long
- Nasdaq NFTs for digital fashion 5 months old | 7 minutes long
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This digital purse is tote-ally awesome!
Art Credit: ASCII Art Archive