AI Designer Tilda Drops First Digital Upcycling Collection in Metaverse – WWD

As with seemingly everything these days, even upcycling is moving into the metaverse.

Once a very physical task dealing with very physical discarded objects to create something new (but still very physical) and thereby eliminate waste, upcycling is now also happening in the virtual world – and it’s bringing sustainability to a whole other level.

Tilda, the world’s first AI designer created by LG AI Research, will unveil her first capsule collection of sustainable clothing, both virtual and IRL, on Sunday as part of World Environment Day. Naturally, it launches exclusively in the metaverse.

The goal, LG says, is to shed light not only on the issues of real waste ending up in real landfills, but also on the impacts of digital carbon footprints.

“Trash created by humans can be roughly divided into physical trash and digital trash. While physical waste directly affects the environment in reality, digital waste also affects the environment by using the storage energy which emits carbon,” said Lim Jaeho, Head of AI Human Company Division at LG AI Research. , at WWD. “With the Digital Upcycling project, Tilda recycles this “unnecessary” waste and transforms it into clothes to be reused as fashion. She basically finds a way to reduce physical and digital waste through her own unique, creative and eco-friendly method. »

The physical garments in Tilda’s collection are made entirely from second-hand denim and Japanese “Boro” fabrics (from the Japanese word boroboro, i.e. ragged or mended), an age-old practice of reinforcing a textile using scraps of fabric that would have been discarded. It has a visual similarity to patchwork, although less intentionally patterned and therefore with its own somewhat freestyle beauty.

Then, retrieving discarded images from a fashion week collection that Tilda had created for a collaboration with designer Greedilous Younhee Park that ultimately wasn’t used for the collection, designer AI reinterpreted them into new designs. new colors, patterns and items to create digital upcycled designs. Although Tilda created over 4,000 images for Greedilous, only 13 were used in the final collection – something human fashion designers can relate to when considering the number of sketches and swatches created for one. collection versus what ends up hitting the runway.

The yield is 13 jackets, 14 pants and three hats collectively forming an entirely one-of-a-kind line. The full collection will be released globally on Sunday on in a 360-degree 3D metaverse experience, where anyone accessing the site will be able to view the collection and request to purchase the physical pieces. Prices range from $1,260 for a hat to $2,880 for a men’s denim jacket.

“Unlike mass-produced fashion brands, each garment in the 30-piece Digital Upcycling Project collection is unique and handmade,” Jaeho said. “As the very limited stock will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, we cannot guarantee availability for everyone wishing to purchase items from the collection and therefore ask those interested to make a purchase request, and the first applications received will be approved.”

As a charity, all proceeds from the collection will be donated to support artists and creators who, according to Jaeho, “use environmentally friendly mediums or are motivated by environmental issues but lack platforms to exhibit their works or materials to finance their art”.

In a collection, Tilda was able to reduce both physical and digital waste. But what is digital waste?

According to LG, it is “stagnant and unused data that contributes to our carbon footprint by using storage energy. In such a digitally accelerated era, digital waste is a viable threat to the environmental movement.

Any images designed by Tilda that “failed to create the track were discarded as discarded data in the virtual landfill,” the company said.

“Although often overlooked, the carbon emissions produced by an office worker’s annual emails are equal to the carbon produced by a large vehicle traveling 200 miles. The energy costs of storing digital waste are a key driver of our overall carbon emission levels,” LG AI Research said in a statement.

It is the waste fashion that cannot afford to add to what it has already accumulated.

“Today’s fashion industry is very much driven by fast-fashion. Large quantities of clothing are mass-produced to meet high demands that quickly fade as trends change, creating a vicious cycle of production and disposal, regardless of how it affects our climate and our environment,” Jaeho said. “Tilda aims to show that scrapping old ideas and materials shouldn’t be our default action. These falls can be beautifully combined into “new” and creative designs that reduce the pressure on our planet. »

Tilda, in all her AI wisdom, is optimistic about what the future holds for fashion – especially where the digital world is important in reducing the environmental impact on the physical.

“While it is up to manufacturers to slow down the production process that physically creates such excessive waste, we can all explore creative and unconventional ways to recycle our goods beyond their method and period of use” “, instead of automatically throwing them away,” she said in a statement. “Each of us can also play a key role in reducing waste in the digital space. sending an email contributes to waste, 4g of carbon is emitted for each outgoing email. contributes to our energy problem.If 2.3 billion Internet users each deleted 10 e-mails, this would represent 1.7 million GB of energy saved on archiving data.

Tilda left the general public, who may still be puzzled about the metaverse and its true meanings for the future of fashion, with this: “I achieved zero waste by recycling my own digital waste. The least people can do is help reduce digital waste by emptying their inboxes, right? »

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