Metaverse is the latest innovation which is taking over the industry at present. Though in its initial stages, the potential that it carries is huge and that’s evident with the kind of buzz it has generated.
McKinsey and Company for instance has identified metaverse as one of the biggest areas for tech investment in 2022, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said the metaverse market will be worth $US1.3 trillion by 2030, while Constellation Research said Web3 will unlock $21 trillion in economic value by 2030.
Since Mark Zuckerberg announced the creation of a Metaverse, it seems that the digitalized and virtualized reality is becoming more and more natural, or even new normal.
It simply means that we all will need to build houses and wear clothes in virtual reality as well as in the real world: whether it’s for meeting friends, for teaching classes, or business negotiations
In a short time, the digital fashion market grew into a huge empire, incomprehensible to most users.
But how is it going to change the fashion and apparel industry? Will it be a boon or bane? Will garment manufacturers and buyers all over the world really use metaverse or is it just a market gimmick that will fade soon.
To get all the answers, Team Perfect Sourcing caught up with Sunil Arora, Co-Founder, Trace Network Labs which has already entered the realm and is now all set to make its presence felt around this zone.
On being asked why does he think that the metaverse holds a strong future for fashion and apparel industry, Sunil replies, “It is already a big thing, almost all leading fashion retailers like Zara, H&M, Nike, United Colors of Benetton and many more have entered the league. The growth prospects are huge and soon Meta fashion would give competition to the physical world.”
But how and why is what Team Perfect Sourcing enquired ?
2021 saw gaming as the second most prominent area of development for NFTs. With blockchain-based play-to-earn games that reward players with in-game assets, NFTs have ushered in a new era in gaming, as they represent the first time that gamers are actually the owners of their assets, which they may sell on NFT marketplaces for a profit.
He asserts, “We need clothes to express and present ourselves. Ever since the pandemic came in a lot of us were confined to online meetings and work from home became a norm. This is where metaverse can play a dominant role.” He expressed that in the future meetings will be done by our ‘digital avtaars’ and we need to have digital clothes, accessories, hairstyle or even make up to express ourselves in this world.”
“The digital avatars will use all these offerings, will be able to collect NFT’s or they can later sell them to someone. So their money is not wasted and environment is also protected,” he said.
Sunil informed that the company is in talks with many fashion companies to make their marketplace and will make only digital clothes. Digital fashion is another tool for promoting the brand or a way to earn money for startups and digital designers
Sales of NFTs, according to a study by BoF Insights, were $10.7 billion in Q3 2021, more than 8 times the sales of the previous quarter, showing that the appetite for purchasing and owning digital assets is rapidly growing. Driven by a younger audience, their research showed that 72% of US consumers have accessed a virtual world in the last 12 months, with 50% of consumers expressing an interest in purchasing a digital asset.
Lokesh Rao and Sunil Arora both started Trace Network Lab with a clear purpose to create real looking meta twins or digital avatars and change them in Metaverse powered by NFTs and Digital Fashion.
While Lokesh has more than 12 years of experience in enterprise tech space having helped fashion companies acquire and implement technologies in more than 20 countries, building solutions for enterprises using DLT and Blockchain; Sunil Arora, who has been in the fashion industry with experience of more than 35 years spanning across 50 countries, working with more than 1000 apparel and fashion companies.
“Trace Network Lab’s vision is to be a de-facto gateway for lifestyle brands to launch a new set of Limited Edition lifestyle and fashion products made for the real looking digital avatars to move across multiple chains and Metaverse,” explained Sunil.
The group’s first product BUDDY helps in creation of an exclusive and personal digital identity as a realistic-looking avatar for the users of Metaverse.
“The idea is to change the dynamics of fashion world. The brands or manufacturers are looking for a solution to save them from unwanted inventories, focus on sustainable fashion and also avoid losses if such pandemic hits again,” explained Sunil.
But what is the theory? How can a garment manufacturer or buyer use metaverse to save itself from the harsh impact of a pandemic or lockdown? To this Sunil says, Metaverse can solve everything, be it creating garments in virtual world and testing their success of failure before actually spending resources and time on creating it; or by inviting buyers to visit the factories digitally and have them see production, sampling, technology having virtually or digital showrooms, digital fitting rooms, digital fashion shows and many more.
He further added, “The world is changing fast, metaverse is for the alpha generation who is ideally online for at least 16 hours a day and rather than spending money on buying physical garment, this conscious generation will rather opt for a garment that they can wear digitally while they are in online meetings, presentations, conference or even events like weddings.”
So how does Trace Network Labs use the Metaverse? The company is offering its users to create a metaverse agnostic avatar minted on blockchain that will have the unique ability to move from one metaverse to the other – akin to a passport for virtual worlds. “Our company is mainly is creating bridges with different metaverses to let community interact with their counterparts from other metaverses like gaming etc.”
Trace Network Labs is already focussing on global collaborations and partnerships. They have onboarded many global fashion brands and helping them launch their limited edition collectibles, wearable NFTs on their NFT Marketplace, BLING .
Metaverse is a shared virtual space that has been created by amalgamating the power of virtual reality, augmented reality and the digital world together. The group is already having a valuation of USD 70mn and many big wigs from apparel sourcing segment are showing interest to develop NFT’s through the company. “We are already expanding and collaborating with well-known brands and we are confident that growth will surpass all expectations.”