Using blockchain to bring the limited edition concept to the digital world

Is authentication the next application area for blockchain in fashion?
Perhaps.
Imagine buying a piece of clothing and then bringing a digital representation of that garment into a video game. Now a digital item, it would be possible to copy it multiple times, right? But then imagine making that garment a one of a kind, a part of a limited edition collection, and to bring actual ownership to it.
That is what street wear brand XTERAT_ is doing, using blockchain technology. To achieve it they use NFT:s, non-fungible tokens, meaning a digital token that represents something unique. In other words, a way to prove that a digital item of some kind, is unique.
When it comes to XTERAT_’s clothing, it allow buyers to prove the authenticity of the products, for instance that the product has previously been owned by a celebrity.
XTERAT_ are not alone in this quest, as FashNerd reports. Louis Vuitton have already launched their Aura platform with its prime goal to authenticate luxury goods. Lukso is a blockchain ecosystem designed for the fashion industry and Provenance has used it to help brands build trust through transparency concerning the production history of the clothes.
It will be thrilling to see how this develops onwards.

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A view of how digital and physical will merge

The digital and the physical world is merging, no doubt about it. Not only are we starting to expect digital features or alternatives in a lot of our everyday interactions, but we are also starting to expect more and more from our physical objects and environments.
And we’re going to see a lot of this in the fashion and retail segment looking forward. An article in Vouge Business suggests that the advances in machine learning, mixed reality technologies and adaptable and reactive materials, together will change our perceptions of digital versus physical. Forecasting agency The Future Laboratory recently even coined a term for it, ”Programmable reality” which means the growing ability for objects to assume digital attributes. This is expected to cater to a customer who expect everything around them to be as personalized and responsive as online is.
So what’s going on in this field then?
Well; Nike and Puma have both developed shoes that adjust the fit to the wearer’s preferences. Meanwhile Reebok has made the PureMove Bra which contains fluids that solidifies at higher velocity, basically offering better support when you pick up the pace during workouts.
Meanwhile Italian furniture company Natuzzi will install Holo Lens VR-sets it their stores offering the full product range to customers, and not just what fits the floor. Others use the virtual and augmented features to create experiences, like H&M did in October at the New York preview of the H&M Moschino collab, where visitors could see a handbag appearing to melt and gold accessories and undergarments appearing to float, all through the lens of Magic Leap One glasses.
And then there’s of course the digital clothing, which I have already adressed in recent posts, here and here. While this is far from mainstream yet of course, several brands have actually started to offer 3D renders of clothing on their sites to offer the customer a way to examine build and texture of the products online.
Eventually we will all have a ”digital twin” or ”data double” like Lil’ Miquela, the photo realistic avatar model, The Future Laboratory predicts.
Personally, i can’t wait.

Physical stores are adapting to the digital consumer

How to serve a customer that want the convenience of online shopping while still wanting the human touch of the offline experience? That is the number one question for brick and mortar stores these days.
According to The Current Daily, London’s Westfield shopping mall just made an attempt to steer in that direction with its AI powered pop-up store. AI provides data on what’s currently trending online – and every morning staff will stock the physical pop-up store with those items. The idea is to give customers the opportunity to experience the items live and really find out if they are right for them. The Trending Store, as it is called, will open on July 3.
Meanwhile overseas, American department stores Kohl’s and Nordstrom are adapting to  new consumer behavior by offering services and not just products. Kohl’s have partnered up with Amazon to allow customers to return products purchased online, in their physical store. Nordstrom on their hand have opened several smaller Local stores where they provide online-order pickup, gift wrapping and other services while not carrying any inventory, Digiday reports. 

A garment that is both clothing and crypto currency

Does $9 500 sound reasonable for a piece of clothing that can only be worn digitally? Well, one such piece was actually sold for that amount at an auction in New York last weekend. The couture piece, ”Iridescence”, was created by digital clothing pioneers The Fabricant and worn by artist Johanna Jakowska, creator of famous Instagram filters Beauty3000, and Dapper Labs, who is behind Crypto Kitties blockchain phenomenon, Forbes reports.
After buying it, the new owner has 28 days to provide a photo of the wearer to the creators, for them to custom fit the garment. Since the garment is also a blockchain digital asset, it is unique. This makes it both clothing and crypto currency.
Want to see what this garment looks like? Check it out here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brookerobertsislam/2019/05/14/worlds-first-digital-only-blockchain-clothing-sells-for-9500/#2dd4bbbc179

New episode of the Stil & Teknik podcast is out now!

Yes, the first full length episode of the Stil & Teknik podcast is out! This time I am exploring new textile materials and innovations, featuring an interview with Enrica Arena from Italian startup Orange Fiber. Click on the link or find it later on Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/stilteknik/stil-teknik-podcast-new-materials

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New fashion systems aiming at creating better industry

The fashion industry needs change in every step of the chain to become a less harmful industry. Lack of visibility into a very fragmented and non-transparent industry makes it challenging for brands to make the best choices possible.
But various players are now constructing ways to create transparency and add knowledge to the processes. This year’s Global Change Award winner, Circular Fashion, have created a tech platform to enable circular fashion, providing information about the environmental impact of different material and production choices.  The designer making the clothes gets the opportunity to choose the best materials and means of production from the beginning, while the consumer is provided with info on how to care for the product. And finally, when the garment reached its end of life stage, recyclers know how to dispose of it in a sustainable way.
Nike, on their hand, just launched a circular design guide, which aims at creating a common language and a common understanding for circular design in the industry. The guide comes with 10 principles of circular design, including Material choices, Cyclability, Waste avoidance and Durability, and every principle is further explained and provided with case studies to spark thoughts and ideas.
And last week Google, innovation consultancy Current Global and Stella McCartney launched a joint project aiming to help fashion brands make more sustainable sourcing choices. The project consists of a data analytics and machine learning tool that aims at providing better visibility about the environmental impact of different textiles. After analyzing the industry’s largest environmental challenges, Current Global concluded that the biggest challenge is within the raw materials stage. They now hope to be able to gain the data and insights needed to help the industry take action.
– Lack of data in the fashion industry is one of the most pressing and complex issues we’re faced with. If you can’t see it, you can’t measure it, and if you can’t measure it, you can’t change it. In other words, without insights the industry is not empowered to make strategic and beneficial decisions for the sake of reducing their environmental impact,” Rachel Arthur, co-founder and chief innovation officer of Current Global, says, in an article in The Current Daily.
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Photo: Nike

Nike launches AR try on-service

Finding the right size and fit for shoes you buy online is about to get a lot easier. Nike just launched an AR try-on function to their app that makes it possible for customers to ”try on” shoes before buying, The Current Daily reports. Customers can scan their feet with their phones and the app collects data about the shape, size and volume of the feet, matching the result to find the right shoe. According to Nike themselves it is supposed to have an accuracy within two millimeters. The service will be launched in the US in July and later this summer in Europe.

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