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Fashion Meets Technology: Clothes That Charge Your phone

Design houses are beginning to explore the almost sic-fi possibilities of how your clothes can become sources of energy. Find out more!

Source: Wearable Solar

Source: Wearable Solar

We’ve all imagined crazy futuristic designs in which fashion works alongside technoglogy to help us in our digital world, but some design houses are now making this a reality.
Meg Grant, of Solar Fiber, says she and co-collaborators Aniela Hoitink, Marina Toeters, Ralf Jacobs, and Professor Derek Schlettwein from Giessen University are exploring how to push the textile boundaries in terms of solar fibres.

The science behind their idea is a flexible photovoltaic fibre that converts sunlight energy into electrical energy via a yarn that can be worked into all sorts of fabrics. The design house are exploring how to ‘fashionably’ using solar, wind and even kinetic energy to charge devices, keep us connected and even donate our energy.

“If you look around you, textiles cover so many surfaces, so why not give them a ‘super power’ that can take advantage of this, like solar energy harvesting,” said Grant.

Another key designer in this technological fashion collab is Pauline Van Dongen. Van Dongen started her own womenswear label and dreamed of working alongside companies from the fields of science and innovation. Van Dongen aims to merge fashion and technology and like Grant, her focus is on solar textiles. She and her team call it Wearable Solar; clothing that gives people an opportunity to generate sustainable energy through what they wear and charge their tech on the go.

“Wearable Solar is a sustainable answer to our increasing demand for energy and connectivity, while also anticipating the vastly expanding wearable technology market,” says Van Dongen.

The Wearable Solar collection currently consists of two designs, a coat and a dress that produce energy through their integrated solar cells. The coat incorporates 48 rigid solar cells and the dress has 72 flexible solar cells. If worn in full sun for two hours, both pieces can generate enough energy to allow a typical smartphone to be 100% charged. How amazing! Hopefully in the near future we’ll be seeing these designs go mass.

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