Digital fashion refers to virtual pieces that substitute physical garments. The fashion design process and its ultimate physical representation meet paradigms that have transcended into the digital space. The role of 3D digital design and augmented reality can affect reducing textile waste in the fashion industry. This digitalization has positively impacted the environment, igniting discussions on sustainability within the fashion industry. As a result, the sustainability debate must acknowledge the effects of fast fashion production and its easy access.
Customers usually demand fresh and unique pieces for seasonal clothes, which have shifted into fast fashion over the last few years. Additionally, the effects of the pandemic have pushed the industry to take some significant steps towards adapting digital fashion for sustainable purposes.
Digital and Fast Fashion Present In The Same Era
Awareness about the practice of fast fashion and mass-producing trend-inspired clothing at affordable rates came to prominence in recent years. This has caused environmentalists to become more critical of textile manufacturing production. As a result, some fast-fashion retailers have become more conscious about this topic by using sustainable materials.
As brands and designers struggled to keep their businesses alive during the COVID-19 crisis, the need to shift to digital means increased exponentially. Consequently, the existence and relevance of digital fashion have magnified.
Digitally rendered garments and physical clothes showcased digitally via live-stream or even on videogames are considered a significant step for the fashion industry in sustainability. Thus, this new reality offers clothes without physical production, pollution, waste, and fashion shows without airplane mobility.
As the industry strives to reduce production and improve sales, major technological innovations are constantly emerging. The benefits of digitalization are still under analysis for manufactures, but some techniques are gaining popularity.
3D Design & Augmented Reality: The Main Sources to Improve Fashion Environmental Awareness
Due to the evolution of fashion cycles and the competition for sales and prices, brands and manufacturers look for instant solutions that prioritize faster workflow and impeccable results. 3D digital design offers photo-realistic renders of garments, which help decide silhouette, proportion, and design details, such as colors and textures.
Likewise, 3D can create a sophisticated animation to showcase clothing pieces for movement, drape, and stretch effects. Designers can also get a clear view of the fabric and how it would look in “real life,” without wasting textile.
The need for virtual 3D design is mainly driven by a business’s concern around effectiveness, lack of time, and sustainability.
Successful Digital Fashion Campaigns Tailored To Sustainability
BRIA’s Augmented Fashion
London-based materials innovation agency is aiming to transform how digital fashion is perceived and its various benefits for the environment. BRIA has mentioned their brand’s primary purpose is to reduce manufacturing lead times and improve profitability while simultaneously reaching sustainability.
For a fashion event, China Craft Week 2019 BRIA presented “Augmented Fashion.” A campaign in which an installation reimagines the fashion design process itself. It was an achievement based on turning regular manual garment creation into a digitized process.
Buffalo London x The Fabricant
Pioneer digital fashion brand The Fabricant and iconic footwear brand Buffalo London partnered for an innovative fashion convention. The first co-created digital-only sneaker, “Classic BurningFor.” This is a 3D revamping of Buffalo London’s footwear to wear exclusively in the digital world.
This virtual version fully applies 3D capacity to create an impactful product. The digital sneaker features special effects that simulate flames as the main material. It also covers the sneakers in a digital fabric that is in perpetual motion. The Fabricant presented this campaign as a “sustainable fashion experience with a vastly reduced carbon impact.”
Sustainability In The Fashion Industry During The Next Few Years
The predictions about future generations and trend-consuming projects reveal how relevant digital fashion could become in the next few years. Due to the digital shift during the pandemic and the ongoing demands to address climate change, brands are expected to be increasingly aware of the environment.
Sustainability in the fashion industry still has several aspects to explore to enhance digital clothing production and consumer needs. As the perspective about fashion and its effects on the environment continues to expand, companies will eventually offer more digital alternatives to traditional clothes.