Go a few years back and fashion entailed only looking beautiful and being expressive about your style. However, lately the meanings are being re-defined and the paradigm is shifting towards functionality. This functionality factor is redefining the fashion industry and people are coming up with new fabrics, styles and varying sorts of technology in order to render clothes more and more useful everyday. The solar shirt is the latest addition in this family of fashion and offers a unique way of charging your gadgets while being sustainable.
For its intended operation, the shirt makes use of 120 thin film soar cells that have been integrated into the fabric and can create one watt of energy once exposed to sunlight. This is enough to charge a phone in a couple of hours. Apart from phones, the shirt can also be used for MP3 players or cameras by making use of USB connection.
The official site of the shirt says, “It combines solar panels and flexible electronics into an attractive, off-the-peg T-shirt for everyday wear that can charge a smartphone or any other USB compatible, portable device.”
Fashion designer Pauline van Dongen in collaboration with the Holst Center and TNO has created it. The Holst Center is a center for research and technology development whereas TNO is an independent research institution. The best thing about this shirt is that despite the functionality that it offers, it can still be washed like regular clothes in a washing machine without requiring any special care.
Van Dongen said, “Wearable Solar is about integrating solar cells into fashion, so by augmenting a garment with solar cells the body can be an extra source of energy. It’s really about the true integration of technology and fashion, which can transcend the realm of gadgets.”