Meshed Thoughts: How IL3X Creates a More Sustainable Way of Personal Expression Through Garments in a Digital Realm With AR

IL3X is an AR clothing maker and platform. The platform offers AR clothing and accessories to be worn in virtual-only spaces. This past January IL3X made headlines with the launch of its Augmented Reality Fashion platform – ARdrobe. In this virtual space, IL3X connects digital fashion brands and designers, known as ARtisans, with end-users. We had the opportunity to speak to the founders of IL3X to find out more about how the platform came about, what problems they are seeking to solve and how CLO plays an integral role in their vision. 

Image credit: IL3X

In the 8 years that Erika Lamperti, co-founder of IL3X, has worked in the fashion-tech space, she witnessed consumers purchasing garments and accessories solely for social media purposes and returning these items, relying on sellers’ return policies. This behaviour is known as wardrobing. This is performed in less extremes unconsciously by numerous fashion consumers. They are not buying items for a specific need,  but rather to express their personality. As a response to this phenomenon, Erika and the IL3X team were determined to find a more sustainable solution to cater to this consumer behavior: easily available virtual garments. “On ARdrobe you can wear Augmented Reality clothing only.  In order to do so, you only need a mobile phone or a computer with a working webcam and an internet connection. Our solution is web based, meaning that users don’t need to download any app as the browser is enough,”says Erika Lamperti. 

The main goal Erika and the IL3X team had with the inception of ARdrobe was to join the fight  for reducing waste in fashion, “Once again, fashion is the second most polluting industry after oil. Do we really realize what this means? And if we do, how do we care? How are we taking action? Digital clothing offers fashion consumers a valid alternative to physical fashion overconsumption and fast-fashion,” says Erika. She continues, “Virtual garments doesn’t involve wasting of resources nor has a comparable impact over the environment. In our specific case, AR allows users to exploit digital fashion in videos and this is as innovative as fun. It’s essential to underline that we still enjoy traditional fashion and we believe that it is the very combination of the two that gives consumers a whole spectrum of choice with synergistic effects.” 

Image credit: IL3X

Although ARdrobe makes anyone’s digital self-expression possible through virtual garments, the main target consumer is said to be Gen Z. This is due to their native approach to technology and vibrant social media life. Moreover, Erika touches base on how fashion labels need to find new ways of communicating and interacting with younger audiences that represent the next generation of consumers. “Maybe a user is not ready for embracing a particular aesthetic, but is ready to deep dive in a digital AR experience which can help to find their style. If a brand misses out on this opportunity it can jeopardize their chance to connect with a very meaningful market share. The experience is suitable to feed on various passions, name them fashion or gaming, as there is an endless potential to self express online.” 

When asking how CLO plays a role within ARdrobe, Erika shows great excitement, “ARtisans using CLO have access to a very efficient and qualitative way of creating virtual garments and we’re always impressed by how realistic results can be. We’ve been looking at CLO-SET with much excitement about how it can inspire the range of fabrics and trims and how sophisticated the end result can become. We’re also very impressed by how CLO is becoming a valuable tool for brands and is able to help them move their first steps with 3D.” She continues, “at the moment ARtisans using CLO can contact us via the ARdrobe site with references to their work. If they qualify, our team gets in touch for the next steps. Soon, however, this will all be automated.” 

Image credit: IL3X

To no surprise, the pandemic played a significant role in speeding up the pace within the AR industry when it comes to digital clothing. “When we started IL3X, the digital fashion revolution was in the air. With the pandemic everything moved much faster and we can now see a lot of innovation coming up from various players in the fashion-tech space. With all happening so fast, we believe that staying agile is crucial in order to continuously adapt based on current and future consumer behaviors.” Says Erika. Rujana Cantoni, IL3X Digital Creative Director, adds, “What’s trending more than ever before are uniqueness and personalization. We’re used to wearing garments that are offered to us, but new technologies are empowering us to create ad hoc garments for each taste, need and occasion of use. I think we’re at the beginning of a new era of expression where rules will be dictated more by individuals than by third parties, a bit as if we were returning to the tailor but with a few more pixels.” 

Finally, when asking about the future of the industry, Lea Palomba, COO of IL3X puts emphasis on fashion being less about style and more about experimentation, “ I am looking forward to when we will use digital fashion and AR to identify emerging trends. Digital fashion is uniquely placed to collect such information from the market and make them accessible.”

Trying yourself is worth a thousand words. Follow this link to find out more about ARdrobe and to try on the  various digital styles available within the platform.

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