Using Fashion to Charge Electronics

Battery life on mobiles is never very good and this causes a drain on the electrical system. What if we were able to power our mobiles by just wearing clothes? Well, that’s a new field that is gaining more and more attention. The Guardian looked at a few ways we can use fashion to power our wares.

Kinetic energy
Professor Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman is a designer and author of Designing With Smart Textiles, due to be published in 2015. She says, “If you think about what traditional fashion is, it’s such a small part of the real world, but then when you look at performance fashion, clothing that has to do something, you see a much larger part of the population using them.”

Pailes-Friedman focuses her research on light and movement in smart textiles. “Really good design is when you don’t notice it. We have always lived and worked in clothing so we know how it functions, 98% of how we wear it is no mystery to us so technology being incorporated needs to be part of and as intuitive as our clothing.” An example of this seamless design might be kinetic energy, where movement generates energy.

Read more.

Reduce Your Wardrobe

It’s easy to acquire clothes nowadays and the consumerist society which we have created encourages us to continually update our clothes for the latest fad. This can be expensive and it has a negative impact on the environment. Reducing your wardrobe to only needed and fashionable items can reduce stress, but it’s hard to get accomplish. Luckily, Becoming Minimalist has a great guide!

  1. Embrace the idea of one. When one can be enough, embrace it – one black dress, one swimsuit, one winter coat, one black belt, one pair of black shoes, one pair of sneakers, one handbag… insert your own based on your occupation, lifestyle, or climate.
  2. Donate, sell, recycle, discard. Depending on the size of one’s existing wardrobe, an initial paring down won’t take long. Make a few piles – donate, sell, or recycle. Start with the clothes that you no longer wear. You’ll be surprised how much you can remove.

Read more here.

Stealth Hoodie Protects Your Privacy


Around the world there is an increase in surveillance of individuals by private and public organizations. Artist Adam Harvey has devised a way to help people get some privacy back from electronic surveillance through his fashion line Stealth Wear.

If you’re in London you can see the artwork at Primitive Art Gallery.

In the spirit of fooling cameras – and messing with surveillance – Harvey has now come out in a set of hoodies and scarves that block thermal radiation from the infrared scanners drones use. Wearing the fabric would make that part of the body look black to a drone, so the image would appear like disembodied legs. He also designed a pouch for cell phones that shields them from trackers by blocking the radio signals the phone emits. For those airport X-ray machines, he has a shirt with a printed design that blocks the radiation from one’s heart.

More info and photos here.

Zara commits to go toxic-free

The world’s largest clothing retailer Zara has committed to going toxic-free. After pressure from the environmental-concsious group Greenpeace the company has joined a handful of other large corporations that are (or soon will be) disclosing what toxins go into their products and how those chemicals are dealt with.

Zara’s commitment to act more transparently is a milestone in the way clothing is manufactured. It’s an important step in providing local communities, journalists and officials with the information they need to ensure that local water supplies are not turned into public sewers for industry. Zara’s transparency revolution will be key to ensuring that as brands commit to Detox they then really follow through on achieving zero discharges by 2020. With so many businesses engaging in greenwashing, it’s important for consumers to know who they can trust.

Zara now joins Nike, Adidas, Puma, H&M, M&S, C&A and Li-Ning who have also committed to Detox but other top clothing companies still need to respond to the urgency of the situation and Detox. We tested clothing items from 20 leading brands this year and found hazardous chemicals in them that break down in the environment to form toxic pollution. But by working with their suppliers and switching to non-hazardous alternatives, the clothing companies can become part of the solution.

More information at Greenpeace.

Vogue Wants Woman Who Look Real, not Girls

Vogue, a fashion magazine, has decided to only show women older than 16 and women who don’t appear to have an eating disorder. This may sound odd that they would have used young girls with eating disorders in the past, but at least they are paving the way forward for other fashion magazines to follow in respecting models.

In a six-point pact to appear in their respective June issues, the editors pledge to not to knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or with those “who appear to have an eating disorder”.

“We will work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help us to promote a healthy body image,” they said.

The editors will also instruct modelling agencies not to send them underage models, require casting directors to check models’ ID prior to photo shoots and encourage “healthy backstage working conditions”.

Fashion designers, meanwhile, will be encouraged – though not obliged – to “consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample (dress) sizes … which encourages the use of extremely thin models.”

Read more here.

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