The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, just after the oil industry.
1KG of chemicals areneeded to produce 1KG of textiles
In most countries where garments are produced, untreated toxic wastewaters from textiles factories are dumped directly into the rivers. Mercury and arsenic in water or the use of fertilizers for cotton production are some of the damages as a result.
But why am I talking about that in a blog entry about Digital Trends? I realized that if we can communicate and impulse the customer experience from another perspective rather than offline channels: that would be great to stop contributing to these kinds of damages, don’t you think?
The software company: Unmade, tackles production excess head-on with their innovative manufacturing strategy for fashion brands. They do this by offering technology that enables the consumer to customize their garment of choice online, allowing the brand of choice to manufacture the fabric based on a live transaction. As a result, the brand creates uniquely crafted pieces specifically for the customer and economic & environmental reduction.
Drest, a gaming app, which invites users to dress photo-realistic avatars in styling challenges, then buy physical versions of those garments on Farfetch. The 75-person startup recruited a houndred 100 brands, including Gucci, Prada, Stella McCartney, Valentino, and Burberry. The primary goal, for now, is testing how digital clothing performs and not making a profit. Long term, digital clothing could offer a more sustainable alternative to fast fashion.
Digital versions of luxury clothing appear in apps, and video games as brands test consumer appetite for virtual fashion. Although Drest is free to play, users can purchase currency to buy in-game designer pieces at prices proportionate to their real-life value. A £2.99 package, for example, will get 5,000 Drest dollars.
Last November, Scandinavian multibrand retailer Carlings released its first digital clothing collection. The nineteen genderless, size less pieces cost between €10 and €30, each with a limited production run of up to twelve. Customers supplied a photo that designers at Carlings manipulated, so they were dressed in the apparel. They hired several influencers to promote the collection on Instagram, and it sold out in a week.
But as people live and display more of their lives online, digital clothing has the potential to expand well beyond gaming. Kerry Murphy, founder of Dutch digital design house ‘The Fabricant’, believes people will eventually spend as much on digital designer clothing as they will on “analog” items.
Esports (also known as electronic sports, e-sports, or eSports) form competitive sports using video games. Esports are often organized competitive video game competitions between professional players, either individually or in teams. It is estimated that eSports reach 299 million viewers this year and exceed two billion dollars in revenue by 2021, and sports brands are taking note. Names like Adidas or Nike create limited edition products that you can buy during the game and fitness in real life.
People spend more time seeing the world through screens, the space between the real and the virtual, offering opportunities for sportswear. eSports and video games generate the next generation of influencers and brand ambassadors, real and virtual.
The influencer’s economy can reach a value of ten billion dollars by 2020. Even though celebrities, such as the Kardashian / Jenner clan, still weight terms of promoting products internationally, the power of AVATARS as influencers continues to increase. The interaction rate is a crucial factor. Although the number of followers is smaller, the public is often more involved, proving that it is not always bigger is better. According to MarketingProfs, approximately 94% of consumers say that friends are more effective than celebrities when it comes to product recommendations.
Noonoouri is taking over the international fashion world. She is 19 years old, has over 200,000 Instagram followers, works with the biggest brands in the fashion industry, and lives in Paris. Noonoouri has achieved what many dream of at her age – but she only exists on the web. The digital figure was created by Joerg Zuber, a 43-year-old graphic designer from Munich.
Balenciaga has recently collaborated with digital artist Yilmaz Sen intending to generate “pixelated it-girls” that exhibit their products. Givenchy, Balmain, and Louis Vuitton also experimented with this medium. Even fast fashion, such as the H&M Weekday youth brand, has begun to apply a similar approach in their social media campaigns. Virtual influencers appeal to brands for several reasons, including their popularity with younger demographics, and are considered a cheaper and safer marketing option than working with humans (virtual influencers rarely get into PR trouble). Like Miquela, Noonoouri has the characteristics of an accurate fashion model.
The futuristic utilitarian fitness reflects the growing desire for diversity and extreme self-expression in the sports world, confusing the line between the real identity of the virtual one. From Lil Miquela with Bella Hadid for a Calvin Klein campaign to Nooonouri with Olivia Palermo, this new type of influencer appears to stay. As I show previously, e-sport, customize garments, biodegradable fashion, and natural models are more than trends.
It’s time for fashion to set bold environmental goals. To imagine a solution, it is essential to consider two fundamentals: the consumer’s expectations of hyper-trends, which have shifted from a quarterly system to a 52-week year seasonal demand, as well as the supply chain process of a garments life cycle, from the drawing board to the final production and DIGITAL COMMUNICATION. Sustainability is an immersive subject worthy of our attention and research as both creatives and consumers – and essentially as human beings. Let’s be more sustainable. Let’s be more digital.