Newcastle, UK – 19th October 2021 – Streetwear brand Fresh Couture has unveiled a new initiative designed to simultaneously tackle fashion’s environmental impact head-on, and to demonstrate a smooth pathway from physical to digital fashion for brands of any scale…in essence forging the new era of fashion by fusing together technology and the limitless creativity of the metaverse.

Working in partnership with MetaverseMe, Venly, Global Designer Network and Unity (NYSE: U), the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content. Fresh Couture will release an inaugural drop of digital-only garments in the wake of Earthshot Prize and in the midst of the COP 26 climate convention, with the intention of raising awareness of the fashion’s industry’s relatively slow action on climate change. Initially released in three different scarcity levels to gauge demand, the “screenwear” collection will showcase consumer appetite for digital fashion as well as establishing a clear framework for brands that want to take concrete action on sustainability by encouraging reduced consumption of physical garments.

The general public are invited to join the Discord community from today to see early previews of the 20 garments, and to qualify for each drop. https://discord.gg/MMqhVjk3hU

Each collection features headwear, outerwear, tracksuits & sneakers.

Founded in 2016, street lifestyle brand Fresh Couture, like many companies, found itself producing more waste than the company’s founders were comfortable with across its sampling and prototyping processes, and in consumer returns and end-of-life disposal. The brand began to adopt 3D design and simulation tools to reduce its reliance on physical sampling, but in recognition of the severity of the climate crisis facing the fashion industry, Fresh Couture decided to go a step further and create a collection that eliminates emissions entirely by being conceived and sold digitally. They plan to pivot 50% of their seasonal collection to digital only NFT by Q1 2022.

“Fashion is at a turning point when it comes to sustainability,” explains Dale Parr, Fresh Couture’s Chief Operating Officer.  “This year’s European Fashion Weeks are behind us, and the game-changing COP 26 conference in Glasgow is just around the corner, but the industry is still stopping short of taking the bold action it needs to if it’s going to address not only the moral questions of how brands want to do business – and at what cost – but the practical considerations around how significantly digitization is going to disrupt the industry, and how brands and technology providers are going to react.”

Globally, the fashion industry generates 2.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases every year, according to McKinsey research. In order to meet the target set in the 2015 Paris agreement, a billion tons of CO2 will need to be cut from the industry’s operations before 2030 – 48% reduction is a colossal task that Fresh Couture and its technology partners believe will not be addressed through iterative improvements to the production of physical fashions alone.

“Decisive change is needed on decarbonization at the same time the industry needs to be making a big shift towards digitization,” adds Parr.  “We believe the two go hand-in-hand, and alongside Unity, MetaverseMe, Venly & Global Designer Network, we have set out to demonstrate that taking bold action on climate change is not only possible, but that it can be joined to the kind of step change the industry needs to also truly embrace digital fashion.”

Utility Is Key

“These are more than a piece of rotating crypto art, Utility is key to the project” adds Parr. Each garment is fully animated and rigged for use in Games and Augmented Reality aimed to give the NFT holder maximum experiential benefits from ownership.

To be sold as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Fresh Couture’s “DIGITAL FLEX” screenwear collection will take the form of 20 garments designed to be worn digitally, on different social media channels, and, over time, in a range of different interactive/unlockable experiences – from shared worlds to videogame franchises.  As well as imbuing each NFT item with unlockable experiences (beginning in November 2021) Fresh Couture selected key partners to help consumers obtain additional value from their assets:

  • MetaverseMe will add portability to each NFT item, allowing customers to bring their Fresh Couture screenwear from one interactive experience to another.
  • Unity Technology’s real-time engine provides the framework for that portability, and its automation and pipeline tools have provided essential creative support.
  • Venly adds an intuitive, user-friendly layer on the process of wallet creation and crypto transactions, making the purchase and use of NFTs as seamless as possible for a new audience.

“Digital fashion is one of the most-discussed but least understood opportunities available to fashion brands today,” adds Ben Hanson, Editor-In-Chief of fashion industry technology publication The Interline.  “Often presented as a turnkey way for brands to tap into the videogame market, digital fashion is deeper, more complex, and more transformative than many brands give it credit for. This is giving rise to a scenario where fashion brands want to create digital-only styles, whether they relate to physical styles or completely unmoored from reality, but are encountering difficulties in transitioning from in-house use of 3D to the sale of digital end products. We were impressed to see how Fresh Couture, MetaverseMe, Unity, and Venly have come together to demonstrate that the goal isn’t just possible, but also incredibly positive for the industry’s sustainability profile.”

“Digitization and real-time 3D are disrupting industries all around the world, changing not just how we shop and what we wear, but how those garments are produced and even whether they exist in the physical world at all.” Said Marina Psaros, Environment and Sustainability Lead at Unity. “We’re thrilled to be a part of the solution that is accelerating digitization and moving the fashion industry in a more sustainable direction, powered by collective action and technology, while creating beautiful digital fashion for the metaverse in the process.”

Martyn Hughes, CEO of MetaverseMe goes on to say “Digital fashion is a game changer in many ways. Initially it was a way for us to allow people to explore their inner self through expression in the digital space and ways to share that. It was about allowing people to be who they wanted to be but could not, or would not, explore that in the real world. As that plan has progressed we see digital fashion able to assist with combating climate issues and physical waste. Digital fashion and design allow better prototyping, better design exploration and when coupled with on demand manufacturing, better control of physical resources resulting in lower impacts on the world’s physical resources.

Emma-Jane MacKinnon-Lee, Digitalax & Global Designer Network adds “The metaverse and web3 empower people all over the world who care about our natural environment and the survival of humanity to connect, coordinate and create change far more effectively than ever before. Within that context, the shift to web3 fashion as a primary means to shape and share personal identity, expression and access, radically reduces the need to burn ungodly amounts of fossil fuels, currently exploited by the traditional fashion industry. Digital alone is not enough to overcome the unsustainable extraction of resources, burning of fossil fuels in the transportation, growing and creation of prototyping materials and cheap fabrics meant to be instantly disposed of in landfills and oceans (fast fashion). Instead, web3 provides a better incentive and wealth catalysing model for any designer, wearer, buyer, collector to pioneer a clean way forward; this is the very foundation of decentralised tech and what the blockchain enables. And this is what DIGITALAX and the Global Designer Network are putting into effect right now— through engineering core web3 fashion and metaverse infrastructure and also activating the community aligned with this mission.

Closing Statement

There is no doubt that the metaverse is opening up opportunities for clean growth, and new levels of creativity so we ask you to support climate action and help drive meaningful change and rapid decarbonization in the fashion industry.

About Fresh Couture:

Fresh Couture is a UK based independent  streetwear brand established in 2016. FC as a  brand is forging the new era of fashion by fusing together technology and the limitless creativity of the metaverse.

We harness the power of digital fashion NFTs in augmented reality & games giving you the ultimate screenwear style.

Our purpose is focussed on the decarbonization of an industry, whilst building mind blowing unlockable experiences for the NFTs holders.

Fresh Couture – https://freshcouture.com

Dale Parr – https://www.linkedin.com/in/daleparr

E-mail – dale@freshcouture.com

Energy Consumption of NFTs: – The minting of any NFT only takes place when it is purchased, therefore zero energy consumption, or natural resources are wasted on products/creations of the less relevant designs.

The Ethereum network is transitioning from “Proof of Work” to “Proof of Stake” consensus protocols which are 99% more energy efficient.  This will be complete by Q1 2022.

About MetaverseMe:

MetaverseMe allows users to create a unique digital representation of themselves, generated directly from a selfie via their mobile app.

Your new digital self is able to wear and interact with clothes and accessories from an increasing line of fashion NFTs, offering a level of self-expression that outpaces even the real world.

Using cutting-edge Augmented Reality (AR) tech, MetaverseMe lets you record your avatar experiencing the real world, dancing, or other emote-ing, all while rocking your favourite digital fashion pieces. These recordings can then be shared on the users favourite social media channels.

These avatars can be brought into many other projects as well, including an internally developed multiplayer online football (soccer) game.

Having already collaborated with some of the worlds best digital brands, including RTFKT Studios, The Fabricant and Atari, this marks MetaverseME’s first foray into the world of physical brands.

About Venly:

Venly adds an intuitive, user-friendly layer on the process of wallet creation and crypto transactions, making the purchase and use of NFTs as seamless as possible for a new audience using any traditional or digital currency.

About Global Designer Network:

The Global Designer Network is the first on-chain digital and physical web3 fashion DAO. It is made up of highly talented self sovereign designers joining forces to fabricate the metaverse, revolutionise trad fash and the extractive and unsustainable practices that make up the entirety of web2. We design, open source and co-create content, experiences and events with full web3 functionality. If you are a fashion anarchist, at any stage of your journey, reach out to us on twitter or discord to join the web3 fashion revolution!

About The Interline:

Written and read by industry experts, The Interline is the foremost technology publication for fashion professionals.  From digital product creation to the transformation of physical retail, The Interline covers the digital transformation of the fashion industry in the detail it deserves, in a totally free-to-read format.

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