Virtual reality and the metaverse led to a new type of fashion that is specifically designed for digital spaces. While it has the potential to become a more accessible and inclusive space for all in the business, it also has the potential to downgrade the industry.
The fashion industry constantly changes and seeks innovative solutions throughout its entire life cycle from design and production to presentation and sale. Many of these innovations lead to dead-end streets, but some are so stunning they stand out – just think of all fashion houses looking for their Coperni-moment right now.
As the virtual world has become an essential platform for fashion designers to showcase their work and for fashion enthusiasts to experiment with new styles, it’s no doubt the Metaverse is changing the way we experience fashion – and the brands within. Blending traditional fashion and digital innovation, it’s an excellent platform for self-expression and status signalling – but it might not become the saviour of fashion in terms of sustainability.
As we can expect more governments regulating the fashion businesses like France just recently did, never has it been more important for brands to change the way they operate – and digital fashion is an obvious route for it. Designers are using virtual reality and 3D modelling to create avant-garde pieces that would be impossible to make in the physical world with intricate details and textures that can only be fully appreciated in a digital setting.
Digital fashion can also become more accessible and inclusive. Virtual fashion shows open up the fashion industry to a wider audience and give more people the opportunity to participate in and enjoy high fashion.
Is Metaverse Fashion Sustainable?
The fashion industry is already one of the largest polluters in the world, and, surprisingly, virtual fashion is no exception. While it is easy to create and dispose of garments without any physical cost in the virtual world, the production of virtual clothing still requires energy and resources. This could lead to a culture of constant consumption and waste, rather than a focus on sustainability and longevity.
On the upside, the platform has the opportunity actually to promote sustainability in fashion. Virtual clothing can be designed to be biodegradable, promoting sustainable fashion practices and educating consumers about the importance of eco-friendliness.
As designers are just learning how to create and showcase their work in this new medium, there are still some limitations to what can be achieved both mentally and technologically. Along with some other companies around the world, technological company AR Analytics is working on continuous improvements in the technology, whereby more and more designers and consumers will embrace the metaverse.
Ultimately, the Metaverse has the potential to both benefit and harm the future of fashion and sustainability. It is important for designers, companies, and policymakers to consider the impact of virtual fashion on the environment and work towards finding sustainable solutions.
Written by Judit Kuszko, Strategist, AR Analytics Ltd.