Joined: 16 Mar 2004
|Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:00 pm Post subject: Self-cleaning clothes on fashion radar
|Fashion is a global powerhouse employing one in six people worldwide from cotton growers to catwalk models, but where does nanotechnology fit in? Innovations such as dirt-resistant coatings and antibacterial fabrics mean that nanotechnology is well placed to tap into the multibillion-dollar fashion industry, especially now that a reduction in carbon emissions is heading up the agenda.
"Consumer awareness of global environmental and ethical issues in the supply chain has tipped large clothing companies in to action," Sandy Black, professor of fashion and textiles, design and technology at the London College of Fashion (LCF), said. "New thinking is beginning to emerge on a much more comprehensive scale."
Wearable electronics that allow garments to change colour may grab the headlines, but nanotechnology's biggest benefit is likely to be more down to earth. "Laundry and care are the main polluters in the clothing cycle," said Black. "Nanotechnology can contribute most by reducing our cleaning needs."
Black leads LCF's Fashion Science Group and is looking at the relationship between craft practices and advanced technology.
"The power of fashion is significant and this can be harnessed to get people on board," added Black. "It can be a catalyst for social change." Other concepts in the pipeline include spray-on fabrics, laminated clothing and biodegradable polymer textiles.
Sandy Black presented her work at 'Nanotechnology – Products and Processes for Environmental Benefit', organized by the Institute of Nanotechnology (IoN).
Source: http://nanotechweb.org/articles/news/6/6/18/1 (James Tyrrell)
Story posted: 25th June 2007