When it’s time to hit the town and it’s cold outside, you go for your favorite sweatshirt. It’s been sitting in the closet for weeks, just waiting for a night like tonight – and you’re counting on it to make you feel cute and comfortable at the same time.
And it does. Right up until you spill your coffee on it.
But it’s too late – you’re far from home and you don’t have another sweater, so you’re stuck in it and you can’t even clean it. NOT exactly how the night was supposed to go. And that’s when you think to yourself…wouldn’t it be great if sweaters could just clean themselves?
Okay, maybe you never thought this. But someone else did. And now, thanks to them, they can.
Why have rain jackets and rain boots been the only articles of clothing made to keep liquid out so far, when everyday spillage is an everyday problem? This sweater is ready to fight the same fight for you – but right at your desk, in a casual and comfortable package. Inspired by the leaves of a lotus flower, these shirts are made from nanoscopic polyester fibers that repel liquid. Anything that lands on it will simply bounce off the surface, without even leaving a stain. They are advertised as only needing washing once a month, but don’t let that stop you if you want; this material also dries 40% faster than normal clothes.
But the best part? For every sweatshirt sold, one is donated to the homeless.
A little spillage for those of us that can go home to shower and wash our clothes is no big deal. But for the homeless, it comes with a lot more consequences. Sitting on the ground most of the time, it’s all too often that homeless people get knocked into by the rush of pedestrians on their way here and there, while they’re trying to get some food or drink down. But once their clothes are soiled, they often can’t be washed – inviting pests and bacteria to their clothes which spread germs and can cause all sorts of problems for them. The money they need for food might be spent on a new shirt for their next job interview instead, or even worse, a trip to the hospital that they can’t afford to deal with an infection.
But this sweatshirt can help them step over obstacles that get in their way when they’re trying to get back on their feet.
Varun Bhanot and his wife Anisha Seth designed these sweatshirts with this idea in mind. But the rest of us can benefit, too – whether it’s coffee or the Christmas punch, these “super sweaters” are a gift to us all.
“We created [it] … because you never really know what’s going to happen on any given day,” said Bhanot. “You could wear it in the gym, or you could go out and about in it for more than a month and you probably wouldn’t even need to wash it,” he added. “After more than a year of experimentation, prototyping, and fabric development, we’ve created what we think could be the world’s first set of self-cleaning clothing.”