Sufficiency and the dematerialization of fashion: How digital substitutes are creating new market opportunities

Sebastian Schauman*, Sharon Greene, Oskar Korkman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The global fashion industry represents an over US $1 trillion market but is one of the most wasteful industries in the world. Digital fashion has the potential to decouple some crucial aspects of the fashion industry from their material requirements. Considering the growing interest around the metaverse, nonfungible tokens, the rapid evolution of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology, and the growing presence of major fashion brands in gaming, an understanding of the commercial feasibility of digital fashion is becoming increasingly necessary. In this article, we explore the commercial feasibility of digital fashion and expose a strategically significant alignment of digital substitutes with four emerging consumer expectations: excitement, utility, relatability, and circularity. Our research shows that these expectations are contingent upon consumers’ increasingly sufficiency-oriented mindset and the modes of consumption this mindset generates. In developing what we call a sufficiency model, this article provides companies with the heuristic tools necessary to gain future-looking and practical insights to help them navigate this dematerialization of consumption and to identify long-term market opportunities within this area. Specifically, we offer eight suggestions to help companies take their first steps into this emerging space.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalBusiness Horizons
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)741-751
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 23.03.2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • dematerialization
  • sufficiency
  • sustainability
  • non-fungible tokens
  • blockchain
  • consumer expectations

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