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Where Is Fashion Headed Next?: NFTs becoming the Next Big Thing

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Montclair chapter.

The fashion industry is beginning to evolve into the world of virtual reality, Bitcoin and NFTs. What are NFTs you might ask? NFTs stands for Non-Fungible Token which is a token that comes from the blockchain. These tokens can be digital art, media or content. 

So we know what an NFT is, now what is the blockchain? Blockchain is a cryptocurrency financial service company. There are multiple blockchains that support this type of shopping and/or trading. So now we know what NFTs are and the blockchain, how is the fashion industry adapting to this? 

You might have experienced NFTs yourself. Did you know your Bitmoji is an NFT? You’re able to dress yourself in any way you want. You might’ve seen fashion companies show up in your games like the H & M Loop machine on Animal Crossings or the new Louis Vuitton skin in  League of Legends, those are NFTs too. The fashion industry is already starting to adapt to this unorthodox, but soon to be orthodox, way to fashion. 

However, it has been very difficult for fashion companies to give up the traditional material garment and convert to a digital format. The Interline states, “This is mainly because traditional fashion brands, famously rigid in digital adoption, are finding it hard to let go of physicality” (2021. The Year of Fashion NFTs). As a fashion major, I can agree that letting go of physicality and manual labor will be difficult, however, getting to choose my own outfit on Bitmoji every day is kind of fun.

Here’s a question you might ask yourself, “Oh, everything is digital now so fast fashion will dissipate in the upcoming years, so why are we even talking about this?” Yes, you’re right, this will most likely help fast fashion disappear but NFTs are dependent on a blockchain. The blockchain stores data which takes electricity. Electricity comes from power plants which burn fossil fuels, releasing carbon into the air. According to NDTV Profit, “A blockchain and Bitcoin uses 300 terawatt hours. That’s more electricity than Italy, Saudi Arabia and Mexico use in a year combined” (Ethereum Upgrade and Energy Consumption). 

There’s a lot of controversy due to the cause and effect of the situation, some believe NFTs will slow down fast fashion manufacturing, while others argue the carbon fumes will destroy the Earth. Who do you believe is right?

Hi my name is Kyra VandenHeuvel and I am an aspiring fashion design and merchandising student at Montclair State University. I will be graduating in the year of 2024! In my free time I like to draw, paint and watch anime. I cannot wait to share my thoughts and observations of the world of fashion and design with you!