As more brands continue to enter into the metaverse, legacy fashion will be forced to address its historical discrimination, environmental concerns, and inaccessibility to the everyday consumer.
While the majority of the unexplored metaverse continues to be studied, legacy fashion should be taking notes on how to better understand its everyday consumer, aiming to change its narrative, while looking for ways to better connect with its now digitally hybrid consumers.
And you know why? Consumers are yearning for it. Last year’s 2021 Ethical Fashion Global Market Report revealed that the industry is estimated to reach over $8.3 million by 2025. In 2020, consumers spent more than seven billion hours online searching for “sustainable,” “ethical,” “fair trade,” and “eco-friendly” items, according to WWD.
Embracing ‘Ethical Fashion’
You may have heard the term ‘ethical fashion’ as you dive deeper into Web3 and the metaverse. Ethical fashion, at its core, speaks to solving the industry’s injustices, repairing that harm, and building a more equitable, moral, and humane future for fashion.
Specifically, ethical fashion focuses on the people in the fashion supply chain – the farmers who pick the cotton, to the weavers who create the textile, to the garment workers who cut and sew each piece of clothing, to the way in which retailers and corporate employees are treated in the workplace.
As we push closer towards Web3, fashion brands, big or small, and independent designers will have the opportunity to be seen by new types of audiences and demographics, while opening up an entirely new revenue stream that no longer is tied to physical laws of nature.
Earlier this month, the Council of Fashion Designers of America announced it would be launching an NFT partnership and education program with Polygon Studios, The Sandbox, and creative consultancy firm 5Crypto.
According to CFDA CEO Steven Kolb, this will provide CFDA members with the knowledge and resources in navigating the metaverse, setting up the blueprint on how to actually enter the metaverse:
“Two things members need to know: How do you actually enter into the metaverse and what actually happens once you’re in it?” Kolb presented.
Through these partnerships, Kolb says members will be taken step-by-step and tell them what the metaverse actually is and what they should be doing.
Flipping traditional creation on its head
The first step in decentralizing legacy fashion requires a completely different lens, flipping creativity on its head and allowing for the free flow of ideas – regardless of where an individual may fall within their professional titles or departments.
“The ideas, whether good or bad…may not get the attention they deserve, and will eventually die out,” says Josh Webb, co-founder at Web3 fashion house ARCENTI.
Launched by Webb and his fiance, Angelina Lee, ARCENTI is a pioneer Web3 fashion brand who is harnessing the opportunity to offer a fully collaborative, decentralized fashion experience where ideas and designs can be brought to digital life at any given moment.
Directly addressing the issue of environmental sustainability and ethical fashion, ARCENTI uses CL3D, a 3D modeling software which helps cut down on waste, physical samples, and production lead times that reduce overall sampling.
Digital wearables are now a thing
Believe it or not, fashion can now transcend beyond physical garments and accessories.
Back in January, Megan Kaspar, co-founder and managing director of Magnetic, a privately held crypto and blockchain investment and incubation firm, told CoinTelegraph that digital fashion is a very powerful use case for blockchain technology, but many brands are still unaware of the value it can provide in creating new business models.
Enter digital wearables.
“This is where collections are created digitally first, whether in-house or outsourced to a company. The digital-first process reduces time, energy, and capital, all of which are no longer required to preview collections prior to production. The digital collection can then be superimposed onto photos through digital tailoring,” Kaspar explained.
Kaspar was also featured on the cover of the January issue of Haute Living, marking the first-ever U.S. fashion magazine cover to display digital luxury designer garments on a human.
The designs Kaspar is seen wearing were created by Fendi and digitized by DressX, which can also be purchased on Fendi’s website.