Digi-Couture, Clean CryptoArt & Augmented Activism: Emerging Tech Trends Pushing Environmental Agendas

A piece from the Puma x The Fabricant Sustainable Technologies Collection on a faceless model. A sunrise (or sunset) glows pink in the background.
Puma x The Fabricant Sustainable Technologies Collection

Digi-Couture: The Death of Fast Fashion

Identity, self-expression, fantasy and creativity lie at the core of what it means to be human. They drive the emotional relationship between ourselves and our fashion. Social media marketing’s increasing mastery in leveraging the ever-present gaze on our virtual personas is one of the many influences behind our desire to meet the rapid pace of trends in fashion. With the industry valued at more than 2.5 trillion dollars and employing over 75 million people worldwide this year, traditional fashion is here to stay — but consumers are becoming more and more conscious about what their participation in the industry is costing the planet.

Pixelated garments may be beginning to meet this need, ethically, in a way the traditional industry can’t. For anyone who has purchased skins in video games, the concept of digital fashion (also termed digi-fashion or digi-couture) isn’t entirely new. As surreal as it may sound to those of us who haven’t dipped our toes in yet, digital fashion may be the very solution that participants in this virtually-blended era are receptive to.

Puma x The Fabricant Sustainable Technologies Collection
‘Iridescence’ by digital couture house The Fabricant in collaboration with Dapper Labs
An example of a garment page on the DressX platform. It looks almost exactly like a regular online garment purchase page — except uploading your own photo is part of the purchase flow.
The DressX purchase page, where you’re prompted to upload a photo for the garment to be applied to
The outcome of a Dress-X purchase, modelled by Eva Sviridova. A glossy, teal dress flowing in an obviously digital breeze.
Eva Sviridova Digi-Fashion Look by Dress-X

What we find exciting is that an evolution in how we supply is acting as a stimulus to evolve the nature of our demand — instead of the other way around. The production of a Dress-X digital garment emits 97% less CO2 than a physical garment, with waterless production saving an average of 3300 litres of water per item.

If your scepticism for digital-only fashion isn’t eroded that easily, then let’s look to the influencer market’s adoption of this alternative middle-ground solution. Have you ever taken a photo of an outfit while trying it on in the changing room, only to put it back on the rack? That’s the premise of fashion startup, More Dash. As they put it, ‘the future of fashion is content’.

A young person standing in front of a building — the picture of their body is oversized so they’re as tall as the building. The clothing items they’re wearing are swapping in and out, demonstrating how easy it is to generate the pics content creators need without the rigmarole of collecting them through traditional retail.
Dress X

Augmented Activism: The Filtered Faces of Digital Demonstrators

A consistent driver since the dawn of time is the human desire to transform. Our yearning for evolution, modification and extension and is knotted into our DNA. It’s no surprise then, that in this age of near-mandatory virtual living, we have given rise to the cultural obsession of augmentation.

The Hard–Core “brexit” filter: virtual metal shown on a moving face.
HARD-Core ‘Brexit’ by Harriet Davey
UV-Microplastic by Josephmark

Microplastics contribute more than double the amount of plastic pollution estimated from the ocean’s surface. This filter was a creative exercise in visualising the nefarious degree to which microplastics occupy our oceans.

They permeate the food that we eat, and erode our ecosystems — so alongside educating ourselves about it, we used virtual UV and scale to illuminate this unacknowledged problem in a way that we could share around.

A person in a dark room, rocking their face left and right while the AR organisms in the filter spread across, and attach to, their face.
Interspecies Gossip

Clean CryptoArt: The Pipe Dream

The ‘Unconditional’ NFT by PLANTTDADDII: an abundance of pink and yellow bulging, budding and trumpeting shapes, an endless sky, and the face of a bird rising as a behemoth in the midst of it all.
The ‘Unconditional’ NFT by PLANTTDADDII

The traditional art market is one of the most centralised markets in the world, giving access to only a tiny pool of artists.

96.1% of artworks sold at auction are by male artists; there are no women in the top 0.03% of the auction market, where 41% of the profit is concentrated; and 80% of the artists in NYC’s top galleries are white (nearly 20% being Yale graduates). NFTs, or crypto-art—a piece of artwork stamped with a unique string of code and stored on a virtual ledger called a blockchain — have inspired an alchemical movement with the potential for a radical redistribution of wealth: levelling the playing field for artists.

A tweet by Benn Jordan, retweeted by Joanie Lemercier



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