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.
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?
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