Modern fashion is often criticized for being too controversial and non-functional, with clothes that would certainly raise some eyebrows if worn in daily life instead of a fashion show. However, new trends to make clothes more functional have been introduced using all kinds of technology and fabrics. One such example is the solar shirt that can quite literally charge your electronic devices using the integrated solar panels.
This solar shirt was designed by fashion designer Pauline van Dongen, in collaboration with Holst Centre, a center for research and technology development, and TNO, an independent research institution. The shirt charges appliances by using 120 thin film solar cells integrated into the fabric. This integration does not hinder the washing process though, as the shirt can be easily machine washed.
The 120 solar films produce 1 watt of energy which can be used to charge your mobile, MP3 player and other such hand-held devices in a matter of hours. It combines solar cells and flexible electronic circuits to mold themselves into a quite fashionable and functional T-shirt for everyday use.
Speaking at the Wearable Futures Conference in London, van Dongen said that this innovation of solar cells into fabric makes the body an extra energy source. She further added that true integration of technology and fashion can transcend the realm of gadgets.