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  • Writer's pictureEugenie Mae

The Sustainable Side of Digital Fashion

As time goes, we are becoming more and more familiar with the concept of digital fashion. Shanghai's Fashion Week 2022 was hosted digitally as the recent lockdown was hitting China which further emphasises virtual fashion as just a minor trend. Digital fashion shows offer clothes without production, pollution or waste, and these events take place without any international flights.

The benefits of digital fashion, though, don't end with runways and fashion weeks. There's a whole world behind it. An estimated 30% of all manufactured goods end up as waste within months of rolling off the production line every year. With fashion being the second-most polluting industry, we can just imagine the enormous support that a digital way of constructing fashion can have. What if this becomes a habit? What if we actually get used to dressing digitally and attending digital shows? How much less waste would we create? How much more sustainable world the fashion industry be?

In this sense, the prediction of James Joseph, founder of CYBR, is astonishing:

"In four years we imagine that everyone will walk around with AR glasses on, and you will have the digital world imposed on reality for millions of people constantly. So, then you're walking down the street in a black hoodie and some black jeans, but then you've bought a digital fashion garment, and every single person that walks past you wearing AR glasses is gonna see you wearing that garment, in real life, in real time."

Even in China, where local brands have been slower to embrace the new technology, the ultimate revolution has started. By 2024, Morgan Stanley predicts that the metaverse industry in China will be valued at $8 trillion. I believe this will accelerate, especially after the recent news that China state will pump over $15 billion into the metaverse.

Exploring diverse gameplay and gradually forming a new pattern for the metaverse may be the direction for the future development of the fashion industry in China, which is also ready to reduce its fashion footprint. Of course, a Web3-oriented fashion industry wouldn't be costless – still talking into account gas emissions and energy. As Ecocult mentions, "DressX claims that the production of digital fashion uses 97% less carbon than the production of a physical garment."

Of course, a world where production (in any of its forms) is completely costless is not realistic. Yet, data confirmed that a digital way of producing garments is currently a great option when talking about sustainability.

"From my professional point of view – as someone who has built a large community of talented 3D digital fashion designers and is working on building Shanghai Digital Fashion Week (along with many other met averse-related fashion projects) – I see that brands are racing toward the metaverse environment from both a B2B and B2C perspective," says Yanie Durocher, founder of POMPOM, focused on fashion and lifestyle brands in China.

"The biggest difference I see is how how the two different cultures are approaching the metaverse and why. While the games have just started, digital fashion seems to be our best option so far in terms of the ultimate revolution of technology and sustainability. China is definitely ready to ride the wave of fashion in Web3, making a major step toward the development of a new way of thinking not only in fashion but in our entire lives.

Digital fashion's sustainable side not only exists, but also has a huge potential that still needs to be fully utilised. In the past years, the garment industry has been highly condemned for its environmental, waste and pollution issues. Digital fashion may be the solution we've all been looking for.

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