Visual Communication - Bachelors

Ethical Clothing AR App Concept

trophy Awarded

A hypothetical mobile app that allows users to utilise the power of Augmented Reality, to visualise what goes on behind closed doors in the clothing industry. The app uses "visualisations", including fact panels and striking imagery to inform users about a retailer's ethical practice. This will in turn aid in making users better decide where to purchase their clothing.

AR app Crowdfunding campaign video

The four minute clip (as shown below) is the final outcome for this design project. The video is presented as a crowdfunding campaign intended to persuade enticed viewers into backing the project. It addresses the issue at hand, the proposed design concept, the app’s functionality and more.

The overall aim of this project is to close the gap between exploited stakeholders and the consumers. Many shoppers are aware that brands exploit workers with poor working conditions and severely low wages, however, this proposed app may help make these stakeholders appear more “tangible” and visible, and help shoppers reconsider where they purchase their clothes.


To activate the AR experience, the user will use their phone cameras to film the exterior surfaces of brick-and-mortar clothing stores. From here the user will hold their thumb on the desired surface to display the visualisations.

Each set of visualisations are personalised for every store. For example, stores that are known for having a bad reputation with their production ethics may display a visualisation of a virtual window, showing depictions of the negative aspects that exist within the world of clothing production. An example of this is the exploited sweatshop labourers working in atrocious conditions. This is accompanied with an array of statistics, facts and imagery relevant to the brand, allowing users to better decide on which stores to shop at based on how the products were made.

Moreover, the app features a social hub where users can share their experiences with other friends and family who have the app. The app also saves the locations of each store that the user has scanned so they can easily be revisited.


Augmented Reality (AR) is an emerging technology that involves computer-generated imagery being superimposed onto a user’s view of the real world. It is essentially a combination of real-world and virtual elements to create an “augmented” perception of reality. As of today, the most common and mainstream way of using this technology is through a smartphone.


AR is an emerging design practice with enormous potential, and it already has a foothold in the fashion industry. Many brands provide shoppers with an AR companion, allowing them to visualise clothes or accessories being worn, without physically changing. This provides for an immersive, comfortable and convenient way of browsing clothes. (ZealAR, 2021)

Apple CEO Tim Cook stated in a sit-down interview with Vogue that he is “betting big on augmented reality (AR), which… will transform everything from runway shows to shopping… I don’t think there is any sector or industry that will be untouched by AR,” (Indvik, 2017). With this in mind, it only seems fitting to use a technology that is already so closely linked with fashion, to inform shoppers of the true nature of the industry.

Design Process

Experimentation & and Ideation

Although it was initially decided that the project would revolve around augmented reality and respond to some social issue, the concept for the project was yet to be developed. A number of AR experiments were made to gain an understanding of how the technology functions and how it could be utilised for social good. Short video clips and GIF animations were superimposed onto static objects, giving them a sense of life.


After deciding that the project would respond to sweatshop labour, a project brief was created to provide boundaries to work within. This aided in giving a specific path to follow when developing further ideas for the project concept.

Research and experimentation

After considering the project brief, further experiments were made, most of which were through Adobe After Effects. These include clips of people using the app, as well as animations to be included within the app. Moreover, many of the stores’ ethical histories were researched, for them to be displayed on the storefronts.

App design and final video

Finally, after creating a wireframe for the proposed app, the app layout was designed on Adobe XD. A brief storyboard was then drawn out, detailing the key points of the final video to be used as a frame of reference. The final campaign video was created within After Effects and heavily featured motion tracking to display the “visualisations” on the storefronts.


Below are some of the sketches, wireframes and storyboards drawn throughout the design process.

Experiment clips

The videos below are some of the experiments that were done throughout the ideation phase of the design process. The clips show the gradual progression of the project as it becomes better realised.

Robert Porter

An enthusiastic junior designer who thrives on using his creative skillset to create unique solutions to different issues. Particular interests within his field include motion design, graphic design and app design.