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💬 "Metaverse Fashion is Framed as a Sustainability Play. Is it?"

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Photo by Muhammad Asyfaul / Unsplash

Hosts: Christina Binkley, Rachel Kibbe & Shilla Kim-Parker
Category: 💬 Opinion | Metaverse Fashion

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[12:30] CB: “Back in March, Threedium hosted the first ever Metaverse Fashion Week in an online destination called Decentraland. Brands like DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger and Dolce Gabbana and Etro were there, so people were taking it seriously. And sustainability was a theme, although it wasn't really clear how it's sustainable. I mean, we'll still need clothes in real life […].”

[13:20] RK: “The way brands are approaching the metaverse is really through this sort of digital fashion industry opportunity. The digital fashion industry is predicted to be worth 50 billion by 2030. And if you think about it right now today, we have 300 million active metaverse users, meaning they have an active avatar in the virtual world, or at least one NFT and […] they spend 3.5 more time online than social media users. So it's no wonder that fashion brands are looking at this as a customer acquisition tool.”

[15:57] RK: “Sims and Depop recently launched a partnership together. And the reason they're doing this is because Sims has 39 million players, 61% are female, majority under 24, majority have an affinity for fashion and beauty.”

[17:27] SK: “[During the pandemic] 81% of Americans replaced in person interactions with video. Zoom estimates 300 million meeting participants every single day. […] And yet two thirds of Americans still don't think that there are adequate replacements for in person connections. […] And I think if you look at apparel, […] what happened to sales in 2020 they dipped but then in 2021 apparel sales came roaring back and some brands beat their pre pandemic records. And I think that just goes to show we could not replace that desire exactly […] to express ourselves through physical clothes.

[18:21] SK: “Where is the potential for digital clothes? […] Where's the most passionate organic fan base today? It's definitely in gaming. Two thirds of kids aged nine to 12 play [Roblox]. 50 million daily active users spend an average of three hours a day. Fortnight [has] 80 million monthly users. Forbes estimates that that fortnight gamers have spent an equivalent of 10 million years playing Fortnight […] That's a place where folks care a great deal about their avatars. They're already spending billions of dollars on their avatars. And it makes sense that Gucci Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, Adidas have taken that opportunity seriously and have created partnerships or made money there. But to me, I believe that today it's still a supplemental revenue stream. It does not replace […] yet in person physical purchases of clothes.”

[19:30] RK: “Buying or selling one NFT takes […] 18 liters of non renewable resources. And then the global carbon footprint of data centers right now is about less than 2% of global carbon emissions, but it's rising. So by 2040 data storage is predicted to account for 14% of the world's carbon emissions. […] When we're thinking about carbon footprint, I don't think it's more sustainable. But there is potential to influence virtuous behavior. […] If someone buys something from you, perhaps you can tell them what to do with it next, in terms of reuse and resale and even reward them for taking the next right virtuous actions.”

Rating: ☁️☁️☁️

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify | Google
🕰️ 53 min | 🗓️ 07/14/2022
✅ Time saved: 51 min

Additional Links:
Article: “The Metaverse Could Radically Reshape Fashion” (Wired, 2022)
Article: “Metaverse as a Magic Sustainability Bullet? Think Again, Say Experts” (WWD, 2022)