Have you noticed how both science and technology have been collaborating with fashion? It is this three-way partnership that is leading to scientific breakthrough collabs that have given birth to new materials and clothes capable of revolutionizing the fashion world, especially when it comes to the world of fitness apparel.
One of the most striking inventions that is breaking the boundaries between fashion and science is the Spongesuit. Developed by Mihri and Cengiz Ozkan, professors at the University of California Riverside, it is a concept that took four years to be finalized. The final product was a bikini that was not simply made of 3-D printed elastic but was of a removable sponge that absorbs oily pollution from water.
The sponge, a very porous structure due to the heated sugar that forms it, can imbibe oils but repel water. This allows the wearer’s bathing suit to “clean” lakes or seas as they swim. The design was based on the basic idea that every person can make the difference by easily working towards a better planet.
When it comes to its innovative design, the swim suit was created by the architecture firm Eray Carbajo. The suit has the option to remove the sponge and substitute it with a new one, unless you can heat it up to 1000°C to release the polluted oils. In that case, you can use it to a maximum of 20 times!
On the other coast of the USA, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) together with the Royal College of Arts and New Balance, the athletic and fitness clothes retailer, developed a self-ventilating cloth that can help to reduce sweat when doing sports. The fabric is in fact formed by a bacteria, or better, natto cells that are bio-printed on the spandex material. By manipulating the natto cells, it allows the BioLogic team to create varying effects in the textiles created with a layer of the bacteria. Once created the fabric interacts with the wearer’s humidity levels from factors like internal temperature and body sweat or external humidity levels and weather changes. On the scientific development, MIT researchers shared, “soybeans cells can open and contract as a reaction to humidity and sweat, changing their size and shape.” This discovery has paved the way for the creation of the BioLogic fabric, which could possibly change the future of sportswear.
New fabrics have also been presented by Nike and Under Armour. They have been working on materials that can regulate the body temperature, especially when working out. The functional clothes are designed to react and retain the heat of the body so as to ensure that the wearer is comfortable whilst being active. The Japanese fashion company Uniqlo have also developed Heattech, a range that controls the temperature and the odor of the body through the use of new special materials.
With the relationship of Science, Technology and Fashion growing stronger by each development, we cannot wait to witness how this phenomenon will grow to become an unstoppable trifecta of innovation.