Fast fashion brand H&M recently launched Loooptopia, a Roblox game focused on creating, trading and recycling digital fashion items. It’s the latest apparel company to set up a virtual environment on the platform where players can style their avatar and run or scoot around Loooptopia districts collecting tokens. Loooptopia players can collect elements such as blank clothing items, colours and patterns to create new looks. Then complement fashion items with accessories, dance moves, music
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sic tracks and special effects to create different performances on the Loooptopia catwalk. Players create new outfits and they can trade with other players in the game to mix and match their in-game wardrobe. Alternatively, if there are items players wish to remove, they can recycle unwanted pieces to earn rare elements used to create special items. Moving around the environment is simple, players can run or use a scooter to explore Loooptopia City, and as levels increase, unlock access to Rainbooow Fields, Neon Studiooo and Fabric Fooorest. Players can utilise ziplines, obstacles and jump pads to reach hard to find items that are unique to each world. Other in-game functions include taking selfies of new creations and earning badges when you’re one of the first to create an item. Loooptopia provides easy to understand instructions, simple avatar control, and levelling up can occur frequently in one short session. These are some common factors that motivate players to continuously return to achieve milestones. H&M Loooptopia joins a lineup of other Roblox worlds created by Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Vans, Gucci and The Athlete’s Foot. In an effort to connect with a portion of an estimated user base of 58.8 million daily active Roblox players. A significant number when looking to build brand awareness with digital natives. Another aspect to Loooptopia which stands out from other fashion games in Roblox is the ability to recycle digital fashion items. This in-game action is a subtle reference to the environmental impact of textile waste globally and to change consumer behaviour, we need to learn new habits. Learning new habits Experts suggest that children develop habits by the age of nine and it is estimated that 54 percent of Roblox players are aged 12 and under. Placing the majority of Roblox players at an age where forming habits is prevalent. While the recycling element in Loooptopia is considerably small compared to the whole experience of the game, it captures a player’s concentration when they aren’t thinking about anything else other than collecting tokens and completing challenges to reach more achievements. The most important aspect is that Loooptopia introduces players to the concept of recycling clothing. An area of the industry that is increasingly improving with several textile recycling facilities being established around the world. There’s no denying that H&M is one of the biggest contributors of global textile waste and its entire model banks on people buying fast fashion regularly. Currently, disposing of unwanted clothing items means many pieces end up in local landfills, thrift stores or shipped to developing countries. However, it is also one of the most successful fashion brands in the world. A brand which is investing heavily in sustainability, circular business models and experiences that are fit for a digital-first audience. Fashion for the future Alongside H&M’s foray into Roblox, late last year the brand released The Metaverse Design Story, a collection that combines the craftsmanship of high fashion with fantasy worlds and virtual reality. Inspired by their interpretation of the metaverse — ‘a place where fashion can be enjoyed unencumbered by the laws of gravity or societal expectations.’ “We wanted to present our customers with an explosive collection that captured the excitement we all feel at the dawning of the metaverse, but also the fascination we have with the natural world. The resulting collection is extraordinarily tactile, with hand-beaded and intricately constructed garments, but it also explores the endless possibilities of the digital sphere and H&M’s circular mindset,” says Ella Soccorsi, concept designer at H&M. The range includes physical and digital garments co-designed with the Institute of Digital Fashion and incorporates circularity with several pieces featuring recycled polyester fibres from textile waste and recycled polyester made from ocean-bound plastic bottles. H&M’s Metaverse Design Story explores a new frontier with 3D filters created by the Institute of Digital Fashion, transferring physical garments into an immersive digital experience. Providing a natural progression of brand engagement between worlds, from in-store to Loooptopia to activating 3D filters in online spaces. These are necessary links for brands to develop a Web3 strategy, which encompass a deeper holistic approach to connecting with consumers in real time. For H&M, it’s clear they are executing a thoughtful strategy underpinned by circularity with relevant ties to platforms and experiences that consumers demand. The fast fashion brand’s entry to Roblox is an impressive start. They are now a serious contender in establishing a metaverse presence and will be one to watch as H&M continue innovating across their circular and experiential projects.