Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Catalytic Clothing: The Future Of Environmentally Friendly Fashion?





Picture yourself in the middle of a roundabout in a stylish but basic white dress, as the dirty fumes from the city's busy transport network circle around you. Now picture tiny particles on that dress fabric gently filtering the fumes, breaking down the airborne pollution around you. Sounds unbelievable right? Maybe not...
Catalytic Clothing, is a project from artist/designer and Professor of Fashion & Science at London College Of FashionHelen Storey, along with chemist Tony Ryan, which at its core believes in the vision of fashion and science fusing together – to explore the effect of mass catalytic reactions on the air we breathe. The pair previously collaborated in a 2008 film entitled Wonderland for SHOWstudio, in which model Alice Dellal demonstrated biodegradable polymers in a tank full of several tons of H20. And if you're *confused face*, biodegradable polymers are basically molecules that can be broken down and lose their initial integrity, such as when a drug is released into the system.

You'll be familiar with the term "Catalytic Converter", which is something most of us have fitted in the exhaust pipes of our cars. Without it, the fumes our vehicles emit would cause far too much environmental pollution. The purpose of Catalytic Clothing is for fabrics to act in a similar way to an exhaust pipe - trapping that pollution and reducing the toxicity of emissions. The theory is that when sunlight hits clothing, it causes a chemical reaction which traps any pollution and breaks it down into non-harmful chemicals. The reaction is harmless and the attracted pollution doesn't remain on the clothing either.
The CC team have already produced a couture textile sculpture in 2010, which “intended to illustrate in artistic form the idea that textiles can eliminate certain pollutants from the air so that we can breathe more beautifully.” Later came the invention of air purifying jeans and now, to engage the fashion world and public in understanding their research further - a film featuring model Erin O’Connor, shot by Adam Mufti, set to a soundtrack by Radiohead, introduces us to the vision of a future in which our clothing plays an active part in maintaining an environmentally friendly world.
For more info head to www.catalytic-clothing.org and watch the video below...

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