By Jake Dormer, Dec. 13, 2022

Exploring the intersection of web3 and streetwear: decentralization meets fashion

Jake, Josh and Sarah in the podcast studio

Another day, another buzzword, and this time it's web3. Today we're going to explore what web3 is and what utility it may possibly provide in the future to the clothing industry.

Web3, also known as the decentralized web, is a movement to create a more secure and decentralized internet. This movement is driven by the use of blockchain technology, which allows for the creation of decentralized applications (dApps) that can operate without the need for a central authority.

Web3 could affect the clothing industry by enabling the creation of dApps that facilitate the buying and selling of clothing in a more decentralized and secure way.

These dApps could potentially allow for more transparency in the supply chain, making it easier for consumers to know where their clothing comes from and how it was produced. Additionally, the use of blockchain technology could enable new forms of digital ownership for clothing, allowing for the creation of unique, one-of-a-kind items that can be bought, sold, and traded in a secure and transparent manner.

A solution to counterfeiting?

One way that web3 technology can be used in the clothing industry is by creating unique, one-of-a-kind items of clothing that can be bought, sold, and traded in a decentralized way. This could be accomplished by using blockchain-based smart contracts to create digital tokens that represent ownership of specific clothing items.

One potential application of this idea is the use of near field communication (NFC) technology to enable physical interactions with these digital tokens. For example, an NFC chip could be embedded into a piece of clothing, allowing the owner of the digital token to unlock unique features or benefits when they are physically near the clothing. This could include things like exclusive access to events or promotions, or the ability to customize the clothing in some way. NFC's work similarly to the way your bank card works when you tap to pay.

In this way, web3 technology and NFC could be used together to create a new form of digital ownership for clothing that is tied to both the digital and physical worlds. This could enable new forms of interaction and engagement between clothing brands, consumers, and the clothing itself.

I know what you're thinking, can't we just move the token to another garment? Yes, it is technically possible for someone to move an NFC chip from one item to another. However, doing so would likely require some level of technical expertise, and would likely be detectable if the chip was being used to provide unique benefits or features.

In addition, even if the chip was successfully moved, the digital token that represents ownership of the clothing would still be tied to the original item. So, while the chip could be moved, the benefits and features associated with the digital token would still be tied to the original clothing item.

Overall, while it is possible for someone to move an NFC chip, it would likely be difficult and detectable, and would not necessarily allow for the transfer of the digital token and associated benefits to another item.

The Resale Market and Traceability

Due to the traceability of garments throughout the selling process, it could in theory be possible for producers to take ongoing commission when an item is sold. So if they were to be sold on a vintage marketplace for example, the original producer could continue to profit from that.

This has some awesome implications, namely that producers will be encouraged to produce higher quality garments, knowing that they wont end up in landfill and will be sought after for years to come. Could this be a solution to fast fashion!?

Secondly, full traceability could be available such that an item's provenance could be traced, including the materials used, factories produced in and wages paid to workers.

What do others think?

We sat down with Sarah Akwisombe recently on our AVESTE Origins Podcast. Sarah is the owner of Not That Deep Clothing with her husband Jason and also a Sunday Times Best Seller with an interest in Web3, so it was a pleasure to hear her views.

"It's a minefield at the moment because it's new. If we think of the internet, the internet comprises a million different things" said Sarah. No wonder it's hard for anyone to define it just yet.

Sarah is particularly excited about the possibilities for creators: " [There's a] whole conversation around royalties at the moment happening but the way it has traditionally been spoken about so far is that you would have a cut on that so you would retain like a 10% royalty so I think it's good for creators as well".

As we mentioned above, we think the resale market possibilities could be huge. Large designer brands will surely want to get in on the fact they could make continuous revenue from the re-selling of goods. And with the vintage market set to be worth nearly $84 billion by 2030, this is a wave people need to ride.

Sarah runs a streetwear newsletter keeping you up to date, along with opinions from some interesting players in the field. Check it out here .

To see the full conversation, check it out on YouTube below:

The verdict

It's still unclear how web3 will play out as it attempts to merge itself and find utility in the physical realm. As the adoption of web3 technology continues to grow, it will be exciting to see how it shapes and transforms the clothing industry. We're going to be keeping a very close eye on it here at AVESTE anyway, that's for sure.