One of the biggest issues plaguing the fashion industry today is fast fashion — a phenomenon fueled by a one-and-done approach to satisfying a constant demand for new looks and remain on trend. It is a problem that has led to the fashion industry contributing approximately 10% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions and given the grim outlook we face due to climate change, many designers have been making more earnest efforts to cut down on their carbon footprints. Vivienne Westwood has pedaled the motto "Buy Less, Buy Better" and Versace recently unveiled an environmentally friendly boutique, but Scandinavian retailer, Carlings, thinks they may have found the solution in not selling physical garments at all.
Their newly unveiled collection, Neo-Ex, is the first of its kind in that it is a completely digital collection. All of the pieces in the collection are solely available as 3D digital models that can be overlaid on any body. Carlings' clothes can't be tried on or even physically held but each garment is guaranteed a perfect fit with the help of the company's "digital tailors." Without the need for a physical garment, Neo-Ex manages leave no carbon footprint by entirely cutting out the manufacturing and shipping process with the added bonus of freeing up precious closet space for the consumer.
Given the rise of CGI in fashion, as evidenced by the rise of influencer Lil Miquela and Balenciaga's recent twisty lookbook, Carlings may actually be onto something. "We have bought 'Skins' at Fortnite for a while now, this is our take on it," Carlings' Marketing Manager, Ingeline Gjelsnes, says referencing the popular video game. And while gamer 'skins' have been around for awhile allowing players to customize their avatar's physical appearance in a digital space, this marks the first time they been sold as a clothing alternative. "The future is here and we need to adapt and be relevant to our customers as well as the next generation."
Leaning into their streetwear heritage and gaming inspiration, Neo-Ex features a variety of interesting silhouettes from and Mylar-like trackpants to a ginormous puffer coat. Decked out in neon greens, hazard yellows, and bold graphic text-based prints, the collection does very much look look the part of video game character turned Instagram influencer.
Items in the Neo-Ex collection range in price from 10-30€ with the proceeds of each sale going to benefit the WaterAid Foundation. Customers who purchase a garment from the collection are asked to upload a photo of them that they would like to be wearing the piece in, then Carlings' "digital tailors" fit the 3D model over your body so that it looks like you are actually wearing it in real life. Afterwards they return the finished product to you, where your free to publish and post anywhere and everywhere you see fit. Still not entirely sure? Check out some of the results provided by Carlings below:
Neo-Ex by Carlings is now available to shop online, exclusively in digital format.
Photo Courtesy of Carlings