Sustainable Fashion + The Metaverse

Picture it.
The year is 2026. You’re heading into town, and you see your friend.

“Woah – your outfit is absolute FIRE!”, you say.
Because, well, it’s literally on fire.

Upon removal of your SMART glasses, however, you see your friend is in no way actually on fire and the flames were merely in the Metaverse.

This is one of the many ways that Web 3.0, or the Metaverse, is breaking out of online and coming into the real world. It is the intersect where the real world and online collides. And it has some pretty exciting implications for industries like the fashion industry

What is the Metaverse?

The Metaverse is a digital world where people can connect with each other and do things like shop, socialize, and travel. It’s a place where people can use augmented reality glasses or virtual reality headsets to experience something different from what they would in the real world. In a blink of an eye you can be transported to a world created to your own making and which can be changed to suit your current mood.

The term, “Metaverse” was first coined by author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel entitled, “Snow Crash”.

And this isn’t some distant future. Fortnite has been spearheading initiatives by holding digital concerts, Microsoft Teams are expected to launch their hologram avatars in the near future.

One of the most historical Metaverse decisions is that Facebook has rebranded as Meta – a Metaverse Company.

The Metaverse and Fashion

In the metaverse, fashion will play a huge role in how we present ourselves. There won’t be any restrictions on what we can wear. The difference is that in the metaverse, there won’t be any norms or principles to obey. This means that we’ll be able to wear whatever we want, whenever we want.

Fire cape? Sure!
Mercury liquid jacket? Not a problem.
Pattern-changing pants? Easy.

In his presentation of this initiative, Zuckerberg showed a glimpse of what to expect in terms of the digital wear aspect in this virtual world. Immersed in the world, he approaches his closet with an avatar doppelgänger standing adjacent, swiping through his closet to change the avatar’s outfit before heading to a shared virtual space. Users may have a variety of outfits for different events, styled to their taste with designs from various apps and creators. The virtual wearing of clothes changes the game by bringing together real and digital fashion options.

Digital Death to Fast Fashion

But how will the Metaverse impact sustainable fashion, you ask?

And rightly so. The implications of how this new technology will affect the entire fashion landscape are not obvious.

One way we can predict, though, is the death of fast fashion.

Digital fashion may be the answer to our waste problem, since it generates no waste and is instantaneous, saving on fossil fuels for shipment as well as textiles from landfill.

Fashionistas on IG and TikTok have admitted to ordering enormous orders of fast fashion items to create content with. Most of these items are either returned or discarded.

With higher and higher numbers of returned items ending up in landfills completely unworn, and taking into consideration the environmental impact of moving the products around – this is an ever-growing issue.

Digital 3D custom clothing, dubbed “the new frontier of fashion,” is unlike anything we’ve ever bought for before (unless you’re a video gamer). When the epidemic caused much of the sector to close down, it gained popularity. However, it opened the door for designers to create digital prototypes that would eventually reduce manufacturing time and costs after lockdown.

With huge endorsements from brands such as Meta (formerly Facebook), and Fortnite, the future of digital fashion looks bright.

Conclusion

With more and more luxury fashion designers clamoring to get onto Meta platforms, it looks like the future is in the Metaverse – whether we understand all the implications or not.

The Metaverse has been creeping up on our radar for quite some time now, but with Zuckerberg making the announcement to pivot Facebook into a Metaverse company – it is now something we cannot ignore.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with these new digital trends in the coming years and how our day-to-day life starts to incorporate digital aspects.

What do you think about the future of digital fashion?

If you need some guidance on your next project or would like to see some of our fabrics, get in touch.

Making sustainability, effortless.

Get in contact to find out more on:

WhatsApp: +9715855 97971
Email: contact@ethicalelementsme.com
Website: www.ethicalelementsme.com

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Bamboo

The fast growing grass has made its mark as an eco-crop. From construction to homewares to fabrics, bamboo is having its moment in the limelight. But given that some claims associated with bamboo have been disputed, such as its sustainability, UV protection, and antibacterial properties, is it really the miracle crop many are claiming it to be? Is bamboo fabric sustainable?

Bamboo itself can be a highly sustainable crop, if grown under the right conditions. While most bamboo fabrics on the market are a form of rayon where the manufacturing process is intensive and involves harmful chemicals, recent years have seen an improvement in how these chemicals are managed, which is a step in the right direction. Bamboo fabrics are certainly a step up from polyester and conventional cotton, so as long as the brand is transparent about its origins, it can be a safe bet as a more sustainable option.

  • One can wash bamboo fabric by hand or in a washing machine, but it is absolutely important to use only cold water, never warm or hot water during this process (maximum recommended temperature: 60°C).
  • Wash bamboo clothes after turning them inside out, for best results.
  • Use a minimal amount of soap, and wash gently along with other clothes of similar colors, in short cycles.
  • It is important to rinse the clothes well to get rid of all the soap.
  • Never use softener or bleach on these clothes as they significantly reduce its life.
  • The cloth should never be dried in direct, strong sunlight, as this can cause permanent damage.
  • Bamboo fabric should never be dried in a machine dryer, as this causes it to shrink and lose shape rapidly.
  • Dry cleaning bamboo fabrics should be avoided as far as possible.

Modal

Modal is manufactured from cellulose using chemical processing, just as are bamboo, rayon (viscose) and lyocell. In the case of modal, the cellulose comes from softwood trees.  The manufacturing process is closed loop, which means that the chemicals used in processing are captured and reused. The small amount of discharged is considered non-hazardous. The finished textile is biodegradable and also takes well to natural dyes, eliminating the need for more harmful chemical dyes. Although in most cases modal is still dyed with conventional chemical dyes.

  • Beech trees are harvested, chipped, and cellulose is extracted from the pulp.
  • Next, the cellulose is made into sheets, which are soaked in sodium hydroxide.
  • Those sheets are broken into smaller pieces, which are soaked in carbon disulfate. This produces sodium cellulose xanthate.
  • Cellulose xanthate is soaked in sodium hydroxide again. The subsequent liquid solution is put through a spinneret, which is a device with a series of holes that help create fibers.
  • The created fibers are soaked in sulfuric acid to form yarn. Once washed, bleached, and dried, the yarn is loaded onto spools.
  • From there, the yarn can be woven or knit into a fabric to form modal.
Good news Modal can be washed in the washing machine with warm water. But if you know me, you know I prefer cold, it uses way less energy. It can also be machine dried (use the gentle cycle), but I highly recommend air drying your clothes. I’ve got a whole guide on how to do it right. Never use bleach on delicates fabrics, it breaks down the fibres and I always recommend using more natural, eco-friendly detergents for all your clothing. You can think of the care in the same way you would good linen. If you have lingerie or undies made from Modal, hand wash or use a mesh washing bag.

Organic Linen

Organic linen comes from a flax plant that is farmed without any use of toxic chemicals at the farming or processing stage.
The flax plant usually grows naturally in Western Europe, in temperate climates.

  • We recommend always using a low temperature or cold wash.
  • Use gentle detergents that are environmentally safe, and use a washable garment bag for particularly delicate items. Do not use fabric conditioner.
  • For stains, pre-soak and do not use an iron until the stain is completely gone.
  • Wash inside out and with like colors.
  • Do NOT wash with garments that have Velcro or zippers to avoid abrasion marks.
  • Always air dry when you can.
  • If you must iron, use a medium temperature iron and test on an inconspicuous piece first.
Organic linen is made from flax, a natural raw material. Flax is a recyclable fiber that does not need irrigation. It also requires almost no chemical treatment. All parts of the flax plant are used, ensuring no waste.

Peace Silk

During the production of conventional silk, the cocoons are boiled or steamed in a process known as stifling, which kills the silkworm to prevent it from piercing its way out of the casing and breaking the thread into shorter filaments. In 1990, Indian sericulturist Kusuma Rajaiah came up with a way to produce silk without harming the silkworms which gave birth to Ahimsa silk, also known as peace silk (ahimsa means non-violent). The principle of peace silk is to allow the silkworm to emerge from its cocoon before the silk thread is harvested.

  • When not in use keep it protected in a cloth bag. The easiest step to care for organic silk. (all our scarves are delivered in a dust bag use that to keep your piece protected).
  • If necessary, before use you can iron out your scarf or cape. This removes the wrinkles if any.
  • You may store it rolled up in your dust bag instead of folding to avoid creasing but it is not necessary.
  • It is best to be worn multiple times because it is not the closest garment to your body, and then dry cleaned if necessary. No need to dry clean after every use.
  • It is enough to just air and shade dry. If required iron with a regular iron on medium heat for optimal sanitization.
  • Try not to spray your perfume or any other aerosol, e.g. hair spray on your silk item.

Peace silk is exactly the same as regular silk, the only difference is during the production of traditional silk, the silkworm is boiled alive but with Peace Silk the top of the cocoon is gently cut open to allow the developing moth to escape and to finish its natural lifecycle outside of the cocoon. It is a very peaceful, non-violent way of harvesting silk and a final product that cannot be duplicated by machines.

Organic Hemp

Hemp fabric gives all the softness of other natural textiles, but with a strength that is an amazing 3 times higher than cotton.
This unique durability makes it uniquely hard-wearing and long-lasting.

  • We recommend always using a low temperature or cold wash.
  • Use gentle detergents that are environmentally safe, and use a washable garment bag for particularly delicate items. Do not use fabric conditioner.
  • For stains, pre-soak and do not use an iron until the stain is completely gone.
  • Wash inside out and with like colors.
  • Do NOT wash with garments that have Velcro or zippers to avoid abrasion marks.
  • Always air dry when you can.
  • If you must iron, use a medium temperature iron and test on an inconspicuous piece first

Hemp fabric is a long-lasting and durable fabric which is made from the long strands of fiber that make up the stalk of the plant.
These fibers are separated from the bark through a process called “retting.”
The retted fibers are then spun together to produce a continuous thread (or yarn) that can be woven into a fabric.

Recycled Polyster

Recycled Polyester, much like traditional polyester, is a man-made fabric.
However, recycled polyester is made from recycled plastic such as plastic bottles.

  • We recommend always using a low temperature or cold wash.
  • Use gentle detergents that are environmentally safe, and use a washable garment bag for particularly delicate items.
  • Wash inside out and with like colors.
  • Always air dry when you can.
  • Should not have to be ironed, but if you do, use a medium temperature iron and test on an inconspicuous piece first.

Recycled polyester is made by breaking down used plastic into small, thin chips. These thin pieces and chips are then melted down further and spun into yarn, which is then made into fabric.