New appointment with the column of Leather & Luxury, a journey in search of innovative materials, techniques and processes, undertaken with the designer Bettina Grampa.
Today the focus will be on the digital future of fashion.
Emanuele Bianchi, after a degree in Economics at Bocconi and one in Management in London, worked as a strategic consultant in a well-known IT consulting company.
In 2020 he decides to create a new company - Engineer3d - starting from the family textile company, an innovative startup of sustainability, tech and business experts, supported by a global network of trusted partners, that accompanies fashion brands in the difficult transition to a responsible and sustainable production. An important role within
Sustainable fashion and technology
Technology plays a key role in the fashion system. On the one hand, the continuous search for new materials (bio-based, recycling, etc.) and production processes (upcycle, dying, 3D prints, etc.) has the task of making the production of clothes less and less impactful on the environment. On the other hand, technologies such as blockchain, will make the production practices of brands more and more transparent and accessible to the final consumer, avoiding dangerous phenomena such as Greenwashing. But I believe that the greatest opportunity in terms of sustainability will be digital clothing: the most sustainable clothing is the one not yet produced.
Fashion and metaverse
The metaverse can be defined as a simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and blockchain, along with social media concepts, to create spaces in which users interact as they would in the real world. The metaverse is essentially a kind of digital parallel world in which you can set up your own alter ego-a concept that is much less abstract than it sounds. In fact, although still in its infancy, there are already many digital "worlds" in which users spend a lot of time with their digital avatar: from video games like Fortnite and Roblox, to virtual worlds based on the Blockchain like Decentraland and Sandbox. And it is precisely the latter that represent the future of fashion: in these worlds, clothing brands can freely sell their non-fungible digital products (NFT), therefore unique and resalable, with which users can dress and customize their avatars. While historically the fashion industry has been reluctant to adopt new technologies, over the past decade things have changed and this time fashion is leading the way. From Balenciaga's capsule with Fortnite, to Adidas' NFTs with Bored Ape Yacht Club, more and more brands are taking their first steps into the metaverse. At the same time, brands and startups that produce only digital clothes are also emerging, such as the RTFKT studio that produces sneakers and digital avatars or the digital fashion house The Fabricant.
Metaverse and sustainability
We are often told that we need to reduce consumption to safeguard the planet. However, it is simplistic to think that man can radically change his habits in such a short time. The metaverse, from my point of view, can be a push in this direction: if people will really spend most of their time in these digital spaces, they will be pushed to buy more and more objects for these digital worlds and less and less physical objects for the real world. The real question mark, however, is understanding how much these digital objects save in environmental terms compared to their physical twins. In fact, while these digital products don't require raw materials, transports, disposals, chemical processes etc, they require a lot of electricity both in the manufacturing phase, in the encrypted sale phase and in the use phase. For this reason, we at Engineer3d, are developing environmental impact measurement systems for these digital products as well, and we will be launching through our brand showcase, R3UNITE, a capsule of "green" and carbon neutral digital products in the coming months.