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Clever T-Shirt Promotes Sustainability Using Instagram and Augmented Reality

Imagine a T-shirt that could alter its message to the news of the day with just the tap of a finger.

That’s essentially the idea behind the launch of Carlings’ Last Statement T-shirt, the first T-shirt to use the power of Instagram filters to create an augmented reality apparel experience.

According to Carlings, The Last Statement T-shirt is infused with NFC technology, allowing Instagram and Facebook filters to manipulate its surface. The result is a T-shirt that can be filmed or photographed and then altered to say anything that the Carlings Instagram filter will allow.

“The Last Statement T-shirt takes a classic pillar of youth rebellion and reinvents it for the digital age,” Carlings said. “Through a custom version of Instagram/Facebook filters, you can digitally change its design. So every day, the shirt can display a new animated statement design to amplify your message without ever having to buy another T-shirt.”

The feature works with both iOS and Android smartphones and was created using Spark AR, an augmented reality platform that integrates directly with Facebook and is responsible for Instagram’s face filters and stickers. Along with the four filters that Carlings released at launch, the brand plans on releasing another 10 by mid-January and said it was “exploring the option of continuously releasing new filters to address upcoming topics and news stories.”

Scandinavian fashion brand, Carlings, has announced the first augmented reality t-shirt in collaboration with Facebook and Instagram.
Different filters projecting a variety of sustainability-themed messages can be superimposed on the Last Statement T-shirt via Instagram and Facebook. Carlings

The Last Statement T-shirt’s graphical logo works as a kind of tracking point for the augmented reality application. Once mapped, it superimposes the filter on the T-shirt, even going so far as to align the image with the drape of the shirt, according to Carlings.

Carlings added that Instagram and Facebook would be exclusive partners for the Last Statement T-Shirt and that it has no plans to add more platform functionality.

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“The Last Statement T-shirt is just the first example of how digital augmentation and alteration will shape tomorrow’s fashion industry,” Carlings CEO Ronny Mikalsen said in a statement. “Customization and personalization 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 Last Statement T-shirt launched on Dec. 6 and retails for 40 euros ($45). Carlings usually only ships to Norway, Sweden and Finland but is making an exception for this product, offering international shipping “to give everyone the opportunity to experience the Last Statement T-shirt.”

In keeping with its sustainable messaging, the Last Statement T-Shirt is produced using BCI-certified cotton and for every shirt sold, Carlings said it will donate 10 euros ($10) to Wateraid, a non-profit focused on providing access to clean water.

“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,” Mikalsen added. “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.”