The Emperor's New Clothes: What is the Environmental and Social Impact of Digital Fashion?
The fashion industry is one of the most harmful in the world; it's responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions and 20% of all industrial water pollution (World Bank, 2019). This has given rise to a pioneering new model of fashion, one that responds directly to the environmental emergency: Digital Fashion. With origins in gaming, digital fashion is widely known as the virtual representation of garments, and thus does not exist in the physical world.
According to a recent study by digital fashion house, The Fabricant, a virtual garment decreases 96% CO2 emissions than a physical one. However, sustainable transformation and profit growth are currently not aligned with sustainability goals. Instances of exploitation relating to digital fashion creators has been likened to fast fashion, repeating ongoing patterns of injustice.
In response to the research track: Cultivating Responsible Tech for Climate Action and Justice, these subjects of environmental and social sustainability will form the main focus of our interactive presentation. As part of this event, staged within a bespoke virtual environment, industry experts will give their views towards these exciting developments. Lastly, an immersive digital fashion showcase will be presented, unveiling designs informed by data and made by members of the collective. This will be followed by a Q&A, empowering the audience to engage and learn more about the world of digital fashion.
This event would be an evolution of the initial immersive round-table the DMC hosted in December 2020 in WebXR discussing provocations around sustainability and digital fashion, inviting international speakers. The IAM Weekend 2021 would be hosted on a third party immersive, accessible cross platform for free and would be available on demand after the event.