The other day, I watched Safiya Nygaard’s I Wore Digital Clothes for a Week video on Youtube, and I had A LOT of questions. What even is digital fashion? Could it really be the next sustainable clothing option? I’ll do my best to break it down for you here!
What Is Digital Fashion?
Digital fashion is the visual representation of clothing built using computer technologies and 3D software. Basically, you buy the outfit that you want and the company’s website will use their photoshop magic on you. All you have to do is send them the picture you want to use, (make sure that the clothes you have on won’t interfere with the outfit you’ve picked) and wait for the result. Some people are even comparing it to digital art collecting which has a fairly high price tag, but as it’s in its early stages we can’t say for sure.
As I mentioned in the introduction, digital fashion is being touted as the newest way to save the planet. Since clothing is digital, it cuts out the manufacturing and production pollution, as well as the throw-away cycle most clothes go through once we’re done with them.
Digital fashion is mostly free from societal body standards since each outfit can be tailored to fit whoever wants to buy it. Buyers don’t have to overthink how an outfit looks or if it’s too risky, because it won’t even take up space in their closet. Want to look like you’re at the MET Gala? Done. What about outer space? Say less. It enables shoppers to be as creative as they want, and that’s my favorite thing about this trend!
As much as I love how unique and free people can be with digital fashion, there are also some downsides to it. For starters, companies like DressX require you to buy the outfit each time you want to wear it. If you only plan on wearing it once, this shouldn’t be a problem, but it also means that digital fashion isn’t accessible for everyone. With prices ranging from $40 to $1000, it may not be doable for all.
Having to awkwardly pose in a way you think the digital outfit will look good is already a struggle, but what if you don’t like how the outfit was edited? Sure, the company will fix that picture for free, but it defeats the purpose of fast and sustainable fashion. If buyers are spending that much money, the photoshopping skills need to be elevated.
Lastly, we are constantly surrounded by photoshop on social media. Sometimes it can make us feel insecure and look towards unattainable beauty standards. Digital fashion may not be the same since it includes all body types, but it will still create the faḉade of wealth to the point of being exclusionary. Not everyone will disclose that they’re using digital fashion, especially if the photo is immaculate, so it just adds to the list of things we already need to be on the lookout for while using social media.
Like any new technology, it can be hard to navigate at first. Everything has its ups and its downs, but the important thing is to remember why you’re using it. Digital fashion could just be for fun and have no meaning attached to it, or it could mean everything for your artistic expression. Whatever it is, I hope this can be a cool experience for whoever wants to try it!