The world is going under, and unless you’re a Jehovah’s Witness, that’s bad news.
Carbon pollution must be cut by 45 per cent by 2030 for the planet to avoid the point of no return. A major culprit: The Throwaway Society, in which the retail industry alone is responsible for 10 per cent of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions. The tendency is partly leveraged by a social media culture in which influencers and bloggers famously stage one-photo outfits with an inherent deadly sin: Never ever wear the same outfit twice.
Norwegian clothing brand Carlings has come up with an ingenious way to let influencers express themselves fashionably, without having to actually produce the clothing.
Virtually a fashion God
Carlings and digital influencer Perl have launched Neo-Ex, the world’s first clothing collection that exists purely online.
Users upload a pose and select an outfit. Carling’s team of 3D designers fit the clothes to the image. And voíla! Influencers with clothes they have never actually worn, and no environmental impact. All the proceeds go to WaterAid to raise awareness for the clothing industry’s vast water consumption.
“Carlings have always encouraged people to express themselves and their own style through clothes,” says Carling CEO Ronny Mikalsen. “With Neo-Ex, we hope to challenge ourselves and the entire industry to take the next step to explore how fashion can exist in the not so distant digital future.”
Our digital lives
Morten Grubak, one of the initiators of Neo-Ex, Morten Grubak, explains the campaign’s focus on influencers:
“In the last decade, fashion has moved from the streets to social media. Platforms like Instagram are now virtual runways for millions of people that are expressing themselves in the most unimaginable ways. [They’re] pushing fashion forward at the speed of light.”
Our lives are to a large degree ruled by our digital habits. This is probably why the idea of a digital clothing collection seems perfectly acceptable.
“Clothes change our view of the world and the world’s view of us,” Virginia Woolf once said. Clothing and fashion is a crucial part of our identity, and in how young people manifest themselves on social media. The same young people, however, are becoming increasingly willing to match their consumption with their sustainability values.