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This is the world’s first AR t-shirt

Scandinavian label Carlings is channeling the power of Instagram with its new range of Augmented Reality t-shirts that lets customers switch up the designs using filters.

Carlings is a Scandinavian retailer renowned for its outlandish clothing concepts that aim to tackle growing concerns of sustainability within the fashion industry.

A few months ago, the label released an entire collection of sizeless, genderless pieces available online-only as 3D virtual models to be overlaid onto photos. Clothes you can never physically get your hands on, but perfect for those of us ‘doing it for the likes.’

Taking another step towards eliminating throwaway culture altogether, Carlings is once again channelling the power of social media. Acknowledging that most of us now live our lives through our screens, the Last Statement t-shirt allows wearers to change its graphics with a single tap.

Basically, when you point your Insta camera at the t-shirt, a design pops up, shifting and moving just as you do. This means you can choose from hundreds of different designs (and counting), without ever needing to buy anything new.

The feature was created using Spark AR, the platform responsible for all those stickers and face filters on Facebook and Instagram. Working with both Android and IOS, the t-shirt’s logo functions as a tracking point that can be mapped by your phone to then superimpose a design onto the surface beneath. They can be updated whenever you fancy.

‘This is just the first example of how digital augmentation and alteration will shape tomorrow’s fashion industry,’ says Ronny Mikalsen, CEO of Carlings. ‘Customisation and personalisation are two of today’s biggest trends. We are curious about how this technology could allow us to invite our customers into the design process, giving items a digital afterlife post-purchase.’

The main concept behind the Last Statement design options is that we shouldn’t need to buy a new garment every time we feel like expressing an opinion.

Focusing on social change and environmental justice, the line presents a rather woke initiative: look good on the gram while spreading important messages and saving the planet.

‘A statement t-shirt is a way for the voiceless to get their message out there and today, social media allows people to amplify that a thousand times,’ says Mikalsen. ‘But social media also makes statement t-shirts even more of a one-off purchase. So, we worked on how to extend the environmental impact of a single t-shirt through digital innovation.’

It’s a double-whammy really. Not only are Carlings reducing our currently extreme level of over consumption, but its sharable designs are encouraging us to get vocal about the climate crisis.

The t-shirts – all produced using BCI-certified cotton – are available now for approx $45 and for everyone sold, 25% of the proceeds will go to WaterAid.