Welcome to a new bimonthly blog series talking all things versatility, sustainability and timelessness.
Understanding the concepts behind creations, or the need for them is the first step to further invention of mind or matter. Societal root causes, solutions or ‘rules’ are psychological; we can understand how us humans fast tracked ourselves into losing our way (by firstly lack of understanding, greed, fear… to name a few), but quicker than we lost our place, we’re finding an exciting way back.
“Who are you going to be today?” Our brain cogs ask each morning as we creak open our eyes and wardrobes (whether conscious of it or not). Habitually, eyes will glaze over outfits stuck on a ‘saving it for something special’ rack. Although we often forget that our desire is continually evolving. We’re most likely going to outgrow or fall out of love with the jacket we saved up for and yet, still have never worn.
It’s possible that our ‘save it for later’ items may also be our little luxuries. Arguably, the term luxury is subjective. It can be translated into food items, vacations, books, you name it - there’s luxury in it, inherently we crave it - because the ‘grass is always greener,’ even physics says so. Humans possess the bizarre power to assign value to everyday objects, luxury as a word represents something we have most likely spent a (subjective) fortune on. Luxury is rare, a treat, savoured, right? We love luxury. However, the assigned value of luxury tends to outweigh function due to its lack of usage.
Function lasts forever. It adapts to how we ourselves adapt through that usage. If we can change the way people value the function of their clothing in particular, rather than the status of it, then more creators around us will in turn make more functional, forever clothing. This circles back to the question of who we’re deciding to be each day when facing the chore of our wardrobes, our favourite jeans and a T make the cut almost every time, workwear is morphing into everyday wear, jumpsuits and two piece suits included. Globally, there is a mutual interest for things like pockets, durability and layer ability. The potential we have to dress something up is far greater than to dress something down. Versatility is the flexibility we have to adapt from one situation to another, it doesn’t mean owning 100 pairs of shoes that serve the same function, ‘just incase’.
How we question function (without of course stripping our individual identities and beliefs from it), matters. It’s unsustainable to splurge on the most expensive champagne every time you just need milk. Spend the extra time or money you have on your staples: your good quality ‘uniform’ per se. The things that give back as much as you give are at the core of sustainable thinking, including people or interests. The more functional the object is to you, the more likely it is to be a core necessity to your daily life and importantly, the less likely you are to want to, or need to, replace it. It’s that simple.
There has been a significant rise in resale markets as well as repair services offered by brands. Copenhagen born Ganni launched a resale platform, joining Gucci, Balenciaga, Farfetch and Alexander McQueen just to name a few - with the hopes of keeping clothing out of landfill and discouraging new production. It’s also been previously reported that a typical New York Fashion Week emits up to 48,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. That all being said, we are on the precipice of owning clothing that, essentially, doesn’t exist in the physical world. Lights are shining towards Digital Fashion, Web3 is taking us from material to meta in a very real way.
The ever expanding digital world has given brands the ability to not only open new streams of revenue, market their products, challenge functionality and consume less in the ‘real’ world but it also massively democratises fashion.
Looking at this years Paris Fashion Week, the french luxury fashion house, Balmain, showcased its Web3 presence by introducing the “Balmain Thread,” which is the brand's Web3 hub powered by XRP Ledger (a decentralised, public blockchain) which was designed to unite their community with NFT systems and projects.
Chief marketing officer of Balmain, Txampi Diz, told Cointelegraph that Olivier Rousteing (the fashion house’s creative director) along with the entire Balmain team, have become acutely aware of the need to democratise fashion. According to Diz, the need to combat this issue of inequality within the fashion world led to the creation of the Balmain Thread. He pointed out that “Inclusion is a keyword in fashion, as we all know that the old vision of exclusivity and closed-off experiences is just not feasible for the new generation of fashion lovers. Web3 is one of the many interesting new tools that allow us to open our world to those who wish to enter.”
Daniella Loftus from This Outfit Does Not Exist is wading pathways in the area of Web3 Fashion too, Loftus and her team have recently launched DRAUP, an exciting new platform that addresses the low value placed on Digital Fashion items by maximising utility (providing routes for Digital Fashion goods to be worn and displayed), monetisation (providing Digital Fashion owners with the ability to resell, rent out, and earn through wearing their items) and participation (creating both community and education which in turn will transform NFT consumption from crypto-bro culture to an activity that is understandable, and accessible to all).
Emma Liu, cofounder of ChainGuardians, is dedicated to maximising the power of blockchain by creating innovative experiences that weave together Web3, NFT and metaverse utilities. ChainGuardians has recently committed $1 million in grants to entrepreneurs looking to enter the Web3 space, through the grant program these entrepreneurs will receive education and guidance as well as initial financing. Liu is one of a growing bunch of go-getters out there tapping into the importance of this metaphysical realm.
Digital Fashion allows designers to dip their feet in and experiment with materials without physically testing them, and thereafter wasting those materials, but the metaphysical world needs engagement, accessibility to grow. How? Well, education systems are being rewritten by the changes in how the world is itself functioning, not the other way around. Loftus outlines her take on this in a recent statement that’s well worth reading.
So, the metaphysical world has a (Maslow’s) hierarchy of needs too, thankfully it’s mirrored - opposite to ours on earth. “The desire to become the most that one can be,” comes out on top, leaving us to un-algorithmically focus on air, water, family and shelter, sustainable sources. Most of us may brush the idea off simply due to a disbelief that it will - or already is directly influencing our daily lives, its function may not seem necessary yet - but we’re telling you, that perspective is all about to change.
Now, here’s a few little pieces of good news we liked today, just to end on a high.
Some good news
First of all, perfectly edible produce was destined for landfill, but LA based non-profit, Food Forward, have helped reroute over 250 million pounds of perishing produce to communities in need. They are helping insecure families and simultaneously keeping food out of landfills - reducing methane gas emissions. In other news, Nepal’s tiger population has tripled in the last 13 years and finally, look out for the progress on what seems to be biodegradable, water activated, paper made batteries.
That’s all from us this week.