How Metaverse can revolutionize the fashion industry

The idea of ​​digital fashion can be hard to grasp for many people, as buying/trying on clothes that only exist in a virtual world can seem quite strange at first. However, with this niche market continuing to gain a lot of traction recently, many experts are beginning to take the idea of ​​the Metaverse reshaping the future of fashion much more seriously.

For example, according to a recent study, clothing existing only in the digital world was found to be much more environmentally friendly than its physical counterpart, with the former emitting 97% less CO2 and consuming approximately 3,300 liters less water per item. Not only that, but there is data to suggest that by replacing physical samples with digital ones during a company’s design and development stages, it is possible to reduce a brand’s carbon footprint by 30%.

Furthermore, the use of digital garments can be very useful during the various steps that precede the actual physical production of a garment. For example, these virtual items can be used for modeling, sampling and marketing before their physical iterations are sent to production, thus greatly minimizing the overall environmental impact of the entire life cycle of a fashion item.

Finally, when it comes to the merchandising side of things, digital clothing models can help alleviate problems associated with overproduction, something widely considered a major bottleneck in today’s fashion industry.

The appeal of digital fashion

To gain a better idea of ​​whether the idea of ​​digital fashion is just another passing fad or a phenomenon that is here to stay, Cointelegraph reached out to Lokesh Rao, CEO of Trace Network Labs, a project that enables brands to explore products and Web3 services. According to him, as the Metaverse continues to develop, it will truly impact and revolutionize the fashion industry, adding:

“The industry has realized that the virtual world, despite being based on fictional creations, actually has a profound utility when it comes to clothing. The evolution of design technologies allows creative freedom for all designers, but some clothes they design can never be worn in the real world. Metaverse removes this barrier – a digital avatar can wear any outfit without any restrictions on type, design, fabric and use.”

He further added that the intangible aspect of fashion when it comes to the Metaverse, such as the lack of need for physical clothing, makes it easier for users to experiment and create luxurious wardrobes for themselves that are far grander than they want. was possible in the real world. Furthermore, since clothes are in the form of digital collectibles or non-fungible tokens (NFTs), they can be freely traded on open NFT markets, adding to their long-term value, which many physical or used clothing items do not. they own it.

However, Rao believes that the most important benefit of Metaverse in relation to the fashion industry is that in a digital world, users can set up their own avatars to visit different stores and try on different clothes before making a decision. purchase. “This is much better than having a brick-and-mortar store in multiple locations, which is an expensive proposition,” he noted.

On the surface, Metaverse enables companies, labels and fashion houses to reap a number of advantages, such as a borderless presence that transcends physical limitations, creating brand awareness globally using digital tools and retailing apparel.” figital” offering convenience to customers.

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On the other hand, consumers are also offered many benefits. For example, they can try on clothes in their own time and place, order clothes from a virtual store either in physical form or as NFT, receive physical shipments processed from anywhere in the globe, and store their ownership on the blockchain forever.

The future of fashion can be redefined

Frank Fitzgerald, the founder of Pax.World – a platform that allows users to create their own metaverse – thinks that the merging of these two worlds could have a massive impact on the fashion industry. He told Cointelegraph:

“From new streams of revenue generation to shaping what fashion looks like in the real world based on what’s happening in the Metaverse, it’s going to be a cultural revolution not just in fashion, but within the art industry as well.”

Fitzgerald noted that the younger generation is the key demographic for digital fashion, particularly those individuals who see their digital representation as an integral part of their social identities.

He said that while older generations (30+) may find these ideas difficult to digest, there is reason to believe that, as time goes on, more people will come on board. “Over the next decade, I can see a whole generation of 20- and 30-year-olds who are very conscious of their digital representation and what they express to their colleagues and friends,” he said.

Not everyone is sold on the idea

Stepan Sergeev, the founder of OneWayBlock – the company behind the blockchain-based game Clash of Coins – does not accept the idea that digital fashion will take over the world anytime soon. He told Cointelegraph that as it stands, most people who indulge in fashion – high street or otherwise – aren’t staying in the Metaverse yet, adding:

“The point of buying a designer dress, for example, is for people to see you wearing it. If the Metaverse doesn’t have enough people to see it yet, its social value is lost. So unless there is a mass migration of people into the Metaverse, I don’t see it happening. Maybe we can see fashion change in that people can see more detailed designs of real-life pieces, but I don’t think we’re all going to buy NFT dresses the way we do regular ones.”

He compared the current state of the digital fashion industry to players buying custom skins in video games, making items only relevant within specific environments. “If things really take off in the fashion sector and the average person rushes to buy fashion NFTs like they are to buy the latest sneaker or bag, then it could be possible.”

Sergeev believes that the metaverse fashion phenomenon is most likely a passing fad that large clothing houses and brands have adopted in order to keep up with the times and stay up-to-date with the latest digital developments.

Sasha Tityanko, VP and art director for social VR platform Sensorium Galaxy, told Cointelegraph that while Metaverse may be able to augment existing fashion industry experiences, it won’t come close to revolutionizing it. According to her, fashion brands thrive on change and making bold moves, and setting new standards is just the core of their business. She noted:

“Virtual worlds offer creative possibilities – a blank canvas without stereotypes and social constraints. At its core, Metaverse is an environment that encourages people to experiment and be creative in their endeavors.”

Fashion labels enter the Metaverse at a rapid pace

During 2022, a number of major brands such as Adidas, Nike, and Gucci are said to have been able to generate $137.5 million in NFT sales alone. Dolce & Gabbana set the record for the most expensive suit ever sold, a digital glass suit that fetched the fashion giant a million dollars late last year.

Additionally, D&G’s NFT collection was able to raise $6 million while Gucci’s Queen Bee Dionysus virtual bag recently sold for 350,000 Robux (a popular in-game currency used to purchase skins and accessories) or $4,000 – more than the bag’s real-life value.

During the fourth quarter of 2021, Louis Vuitton released a video game that allows players to hunt for 30 NFTs hidden within its metaverse. Once collected, these items granted their owners access to various exclusive events and private parties. Similarly, Balenciaga recently joined forces with Fortnite — a video game with more than 300 million users — to sell high-fashion leather to players. Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren partnered with South Korean social networking app Zepeto to release a virtual fashion collection for gamers.

Tityanko believes that as the gap between the real and the virtual continues to narrow and Web3 brings new technological advances, average consumers will have more and more choices to express themselves.” Although not everyone can afford to buy a Balenciaga dress in real life, you can choose one for yourself in the digital world,” she added.

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She further noted that many fashion houses such as Gucci, Burberry and Louis Vuitton already have significant teams dedicated to exploring and testing the Web3 space as many brands realize the potential of the digital market. “According to research from Vice Media Group, Gen Z spends 2x more time socializing in digital spaces than in real life,” Tityanko said.

So as we move towards a future dominated by decentralized technologies, it will be interesting to see how the future of the fashion industry continues to play out, especially as more and more brands continue to enter the Metaverse with each passing day.