Some clothes become our office staples or Saturday night favourites – but, increasingly, some only ever have a place in our online lives. As many as 10% of shoppers say that they ‘snap and send back’ their brand new outfits – uploading a quick photo to Instagram before returning clothes to the store or selling them on. Snake have tuned in to this trend, and created an e-commerce platform for digital clothing made for these digital moments – avoiding the waste created when physical clothes are treated as single-use.
Gala Marij Vrbanić, Snake’s founder, was first inspired when playing – and buying clothes for – her GTA San Andreas character. Simultaneously, she was seeing the growing buy and resell culture that was going around streetwear and hyped brands. “I noticed that people were buying clothes just to post a picture of them wearing that specific piece on their social media accounts,” explains Gala, “and afterwards selling it to buy another piece. That was when I started thinking: if that kind of fashion exists only in the virtual space, why does it have to be made physically?”
Snake gives customers the opportunity to wear limitless outfits – digitally. It enables consumers who are only occupying a virtual space anyway, to indulge their cravings for fashion in a completely sustainable way.
Gala is passionate about creating equal opportunities for women in the tech sector, and launching Snake is one way to shift the balance in this male-dominated industry. She also describes how digital fashion can tackle the massive problems associated with fashion in a different way from many sustainability initiatives – in particular, its role in helping us move towards ‘less’. “Excessive production is bad, and that applies to everything, from organic cotton to plastic. That is something that adapting technology, and transferring the user’s identity to the virtual arena, can solve. Because we are in a digital world, things that were impossible in real life are now becoming possible.”
AtlasAction: Try Gala’s existing digital fashion label – Tribute Brand
Header image from Tribute Brand, another digital fashion project from the Snake team.
Gala Marija Vrbanic
Snake are finalists in 2020’s European Social Innovation Competition, which is organised by the European Commission, with the support of a consortium of organisations. The consortium is led by Nesta Challenges and includes Kennisland, Ashoka Spain, the European Network of Living Labs, and Scholz & Friends. ‘Reimagine Fashion: Changing behaviours for sustainable fashion’ calls on applicants to find new, creative ways to reduce the overall environmental footprint and improve the societal impact of the fashion market, so that we can bring the joy back into fashion, without the harm.