The ocean represents one of the most valuable resources on earth, teaming with life and humbling potential for alternative power sources. Over 90% of the open ocean remains in complete darkness, with new life appearing frequently. Unfortunately, the ocean also serves as a dumping ground for pollutants, chemicals and other harmful waste, causing marine life to decrease, consequently threatening the world’s largest ecosystem.
[Source: National Geographic]
With this in mind, Mihri and Cengiz Ozkan together with two other researchers have designed a swimsuit that is economically sustainable and environmentally proactive to address the detrimental contamination of the ocean. Divided into two parts, 3D print least plastic and a filler material called the “Sponge” – made of sucrose – this swimwear takes the swimming experience one step further-an eco-friendly bikini which actually cleans the sea!
Winning first place at RESHAPE’s 2015 Wearable Technology Competition, the Sponge Suit embodies exactly this, defying the rules of typical swimwear with its recyclable properties and ability to “clean” the sea. Once the sponge material has worn out, this can be recycled and replaced with new pads. According to a UC Riverside press release, the “sponge” repels water while absorbing harmful contaminants; it is particularly porous and therefore permits high absorption (up to 25 times its own weight) depending on the type of substance. Importantly, the sponge does not allow the contaminants to have contact with the skin, trapping them in the inner pores of the material.
[Source: www. http://www.youreshape.com/
Wearable technology is the latest in the string of technological advancements in recent years combating environmental issues. With fashion designers already embracing the idea of digital printing, re-programmable and recyclable technology is the latest in design innovation! The Sponge Suit is a work in progress and we are yet to witness large-scale impact. Nevertheless, this product is an incredible technological innovation. Futuristic fashion is a step in the right direction!
For more info, check out http://www.youreshape.com/
Press release: http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/32330