Digital technology is sweeping the current fashion scene. This new-wave technology is making huge advancements, making use of 3D technology and pixelated imagery. It’s a software that allows you to wear varying amounts of different clothing without ever, actually, wearing them. It’s downloaded.
This technology is particularly interesting as, potentially, it could allow for huge environmental advancements to be made within the fashion industry. As we’re well aware, fast fashion is one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions. It’s an ever-increasing issue that we, the consumer, seem to be encouraged to contribute to. Digital fashion could considerably decrease this issue.
It allows for the fast fashion concept to still be in use, yet it removes the physical aspect. The idea behind digital fashion allows for the likes of influencers and celebrities to post pictures of a new outfit every day; therefore, they still come across as fashion conscious yet never actually wear the physical garments. It removes the ethical and environmental question behind fast fashion retail whilst still allowing that sense of indulgence.
What are the technical questions behind this? The concept of an ‘NFT’ is heavily involved within digital fashion. It’s this idea that a digital item you may purchase is yours and solely yours. Despite being downloaded from the internet, the promise of an NFT certifies that you are, and will always be, the sole owner of that particular ‘item’. This, therefore, allows for luxury companies to release limited edition and ‘one-off’ garments despite never, physically, releasing them. It allows this sense of luxury goods and priceless, rare items that the likes of ‘Gucci’ are known for producing whilst never, physically, creating such items.
We can see a wave of digital fashion across a number of brands; including ‘The CYBR Collective’. In collaboration with ‘Replicant’, they have created the ‘OFF-WORLD’ collection, an exciting futuristic collection with sustainability at its centre. Other brands involved with the digital fashion sphere include: ‘Moschino’ (releasing their ‘Moschino x The Sims Capsule Collection’), and ‘The Fabricant’ who conduct monthly releases of free items, in order to encourage creativity and individuality. We can also begin to see the inclusion of more budget friendly options with the Norwegian fashion house ‘Carlings’ creating downloadable fashion filters via their Instagram at the much lower price of $44.
“For our first foray into the AR digital fashion market, we wanted to align with a platform placing innovation and sustainability at its core”CYBR Founder, CEO James Joseph
The likes of the ‘OFF-WORLD’ collection allow for customers to upload an image of themselves, of which the company then uses to perfectly tailor the purchased garment to said picture. It creates a perfectly fitting outfit, minus the hassle and fuss that comes with physical altercations.
Companies that have become involved with the digital fashion sphere have claimed that the entire concept allows for both themselves and the customers to become so much more creative in their everyday outfits. It creates, almost, that ‘Barbie-doll’ concept where we can revert back to playing dress up and have fun with different styles and ideas without the worry of buying a physical garment.
Is this a problem? Fast fashion has generated a culture of needing to buy a new outfit for every occasion, digital fashion fuels this obsession to a certain extent. It furthers this need to display ourselves on social media in an edited format. Certain industry professionals have professed a concern over this aspect of this digital format, that it will only further this social media-based obsession to present ourselves in the best light at all times.
However, something that allows for us to continue to play around with colour, pattern, and fit whilst also remaining environmentally conscious in its format can, surely, only be a positive impact on fashion culture.