WORDS BY MELENIE HECKER
When Daniele Scarante started as an apparel sport-performance designer ten years ago, few people had ever heard of digital fashion. He switched to 3D design and started from scratch in 2012 when he taught companies how to use the 3D design software Clo3D to digitalise their product development. "Several companies were able to minimise samples and make a difference." After being hired by Adidas, Daniele joined The Fabricant as a 3D fashion lead two years ago and is now building The Fabricant Academy.
The newly established The Fabricant Studio invites creators to co-design with 3D artists like Stephy Fung and Scarlett Yang and brands to trade creations with equal revenue split which are ready to wear in the metaverse. “A creator is a doer. Everyone applies creativity which is lateral thinking to build something. It can be artists, fashion designers, architects and people who want to learn how to operate in fashion or Web3.”
Together with World of Women, the digital fashion house will launch a 27-piece collection where Web3 female communities get the chance to customise and trade their creations on the marketplace to build an inclusive and equitable Web3.
“It’s a beautiful moment to start as a designer”, Daniele says. “Back then, there were still Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CDs with a big manual and it was intense. Now you can learn on Discord.”
“The learning curve is short, so you can learn in three months without being a tailor. This is another layer why digital fashion is becoming popular because everybody can create something realistic. You don’t even need to be good at drawing. When you have an idea, you can realise it and make it.”
– Daniele Scarante, The Fabricant
Does Digital Fashion Close the Sustainability Gap?
Social media has demonstrated that forming a digital identity is increasingly important, with a high interest in purchasing digital assets, including digital fashion and NFTs. “Fashion is about expressing identities, but you have physical limitations when producing. Digital fashion is removing this part and enhancing what self-expression is. You can wear whoever you feel like you are.”
The stake is high for fashion to push innovation towards sustainability. But is digital fashion a sustainable fashion alternative? Read more about our critical take in the previous post. “Digital fashion doesn’t produce anything and it is cutting the whole supply chain which is a huge environment. So on a scale, the proof of work mechanism creates a huge demand for energy and resources.”
The Fabricant Marketplace is built on the decentralised Flow blockchain that operates with a Proof of Stake consensus mechanism, ensuring a more environmentally friendly option to mint NFTs. Compared to other blockchains, minting an NFT on Flow costs less carbon than a post on Instagram. It has the lowest energy consumption whereas minting on Ethereum is equivalent to an average household over 7.74 days. “Everything that creates value consumes resources, so we cannot say that digital fashion has zero emissions. This is a lie. We continue to build the knowledge of how to constantly improve the sustainability part and also spread awareness.”
The devil is in the details and companies have to make sure that the digital adoption of the fashion industry comes with more transparency and accountability to ensure prosperity for everyone contributing to it and the planet.
“I hope that everyone doing digital fashion can successfully remove the toxicity of the environment that fashion nowadays creates. When we talk about sustainability, it’s not only about the environment but the people. Digital fashion will have to remove the toxicity and create a much more healthy environment for people who want to create and be part of it without limitations and being exclusive at all.”
What inspires Daniele:
“Sneaker Freaker: The Ultimate Sneaker Book!” by Simon Wood. Highlight: Understanding the culture behind a product and how a shoe can become a symbol for a generation.
“Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool” by Stanley Nelson junior. Highlight: “Creativity is all about change”. The keystone of artistic evolution is how the artist can regenerate himself by collaborating with young emerging artists and giving them space to grow and why change.
“The Business of Fashion Podcast” by The Business of Fashion. Always a good listen.