We’re absolutely delighted to have launched our NFT project for Batch 01. Learning about the ‘metaverse’, ‘blockchains’ and ‘crypto’ has been a whirlwind, but we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We believe that digital fashion is the next big thing, so we weren’t willing to miss out on the opportunity to involve Batch LDN.
We thought we'd put pen to paper and outline to you guys what we’ve learned, why we’re buying into the digital world and finally why we’ve created NFTs to pair our suits with. Please enjoy the read…
What is the Metaverse?
You’ve probably heard lots of hype about NFT’s and the Metaverse, but what does it all mean?
It’s an intriguing question, and even after deep diving into it all ourselves, we’re not sure anyone has the exact answer. Ever changing landscapes are hard to define, but we’ll attempt to demystify things through learnings taken from our recent explorations…
First up: what is the metaverse? Simply put, think 2D vs 3D. If 2D is a drawing of a house on a piece of paper, 3D is the virtual walkthrough of the house, where you can see the same house, but from lots of different angles.
This is not too far from what the metaverse (known as Web3) is to the website (known as Web2). If the website is where you go to look at pictures of the pub your friends are going to later, the metaverse is where you actually go to the pub with your friends, but in a digital world. The same pub, with the same people, having the same conversations, but you’re not actually there. It’s through a digital lens, or a ‘screen’, as most people call it.
Confusing? Many think so; others however, see it as an opportunity.
If Covid taught us anything, it’s that humans adapt to change easily. We will never live in a world where in-person interaction doesn’t exist.
However, as the need to work in the same place diminishes, and our friends are seemingly living all over the world, is it so bad to have somewhere you can be together and have a good old chinwag? Maybe even step into a virtual casino and have a feisty hand of poker.
Sounds quite exciting to us.
What is Digital Fashion?
If we look at the metaverse from a Fashion perspective, what are we talking about? Well there are three levels to digital fashion as we know it.1. Real World - this is where your physical item is linked to something in the digital space, most likely an NFT.
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. Non-fungible literally means not replaceable by another identical item.
When talking about fashion this is the digital code that links a real world item to the digital world. Not only does the unique code prove your ownership of the physical item, it also contains information on the garment's provenance, its unique number within the collection and NFT’s ownership history.
2. Augmented Reality - this is where you have the ability to actually see something digital in real life, through the lens of a screen.
For example, imagine that instead of scrolling through a website and working out whether something suits you or not, you could set your phone up against the wall, and take a video of you actually wearing that same garment. You aren’t physically wearing it, but it’s been augmented onto you so that when you watch the clip back, you can check whether it goes with those heels you bought, or decide that actually the sleeves are too short and you hate it.
You can already see how this might be a great thing for a world where we’re obsessed with buying to try, and then swiftly sending back. Not great for the environment just from the air miles, let alone whether it will make it back to the packing room ready to be sold again. Often it’s cheaper to just bin it and take the loss. (And again starts to qualify the horrific stat that 64% of clothing made ends up in landfill within the year!)
3. Fully Digital - this is where you have a digital avatar, wearing digital fashion.
Unless you’re a gamer, it’s a bit more difficult to see how relevant this will be. From a gamers perspective, this is old news. Skins have been around for a while. For those who aren’t gamers, this means you take your playable character, and you change what they're wearing. You can wear whatever outrageous look you wish to don. More often than not, it adds no benefit to your gameplay experience, and merely stands as a status symbol showing off to your fellow players.
Sounds pretty similar to fashion in the real world! Practicality is no longer the order of the day - just take one look at some of the outfits going down the high end catwalks. Recently, Epic, the makers of a mass multiplayer game Fortnite, announced it made over $50m from a single set of skins over the course of just 2 months! Whilst fully digital fashion feels cemented in the gaming world, we’re right on the precipice of it stretching out far beyond just gamers.
Most notably, facebook has recently rebranded to Meta, and before long, it’s probable that you’ll be able to use your digital avatar across all social media channels. At this point, what's to say people may want to look as good in the digital world, as they do in the physical world? Millennials and Gen Z would agree, where an eye-watering 62% care more about how they appear in the digital world, than how they do in real life.
Why is any of this relevant to Batch?
As you can see, it’s easy to get caught up in the metaverse discussion. So much for keeping it brief. But, how are we harnessing its power at Batch LDN?
We set out our stall to be forward thinkers. We see huge potential in digital fashion, and although it’s in its infancy, we are motivated to be engaged from the start, and we plan to take our community with us.
This starts with a gifted NFT from Batch LDN to our customers - the lucky few who got hold of a Batch 01 suit. The NFT is the digital twin of your physical suit and they’re bound by smart contract.
The importance and value grows as the exact same batch will never be made again. So once you’ve bought into the community, you become part of an exclusive group of like minded people.
The NFT further stands as a communication portal between Batch and our customers. Once you’ve minted (downloaded) your NFT into your digital wallet, we have the ability to airdrop you rewards, updates and exclusive invites to our events.
This stands as a way of extending the life cycle of your suit, by maintaining its value. It’s a way of us building our community of like minded individuals. And collectively, doing everything we can to fight against the fashion crisis in front of us. We’re bridging the gap between the digital and the physical, and we’re bringing our community with us.