Want a world with cleaner air? Try on this coat for size. Aldo Sollazzo and the team at WEARPURE.tech have created a new breed of clothing that can undo some of the damage its fast fashion cousins have done. They have found a way to make our clothes behave like trees – using science to capture carbon.
It’s easy to forget that the clothes we wear are powerhouses of carbon creation. Textile production generates an incredible 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 every year – and the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions.
Aldo saw a way to transform clothes from being the problem, to being the solution. For him, technology is a way to change the future and bring about new realities – it is “an enabler of the unexisting”.
He created WEARPURE.tech as part of his technology company Noumena – a Barcelona-based team on a mission to make technology meaningful. In this case, to “create a climate revolution through clothing”.
Combining fashion with technology and climate activism called for many minds: the team included molecular biologists, computational designers and manufacturing experts. Together, they created a material that absorbs CO2 and harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx), and reduces Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
Polluted air is channelled through tiny narrow tunnels all over the garment, which are strategically positioned based on how air-flow moves around our bodies as we move. When the air meets the fabric, it comes into contact with WEARPURE.tech itself – a material that integrates CO2pure (developed by PRIMLAB), the neutralizing mineral that gives these clothes their carbon-capturing capabilities. Every day someone wears WEARPURE.tech clothes, they will absorb 3 grams of greenhouse gases for every kilogram of material.
So far, the team has developed a jacket, trousers, t-shirt and backpack from WEARPURE.tech, as well as a coat that won first prize at the Digital Made competition at Rome Fashion Week 2020’s Fashion Digital Night. All these garments are what Aldo describes as “a soothing treatment for our polluted habitats”.
All the clothes are manufactured in Spain and neighbouring Italy, limiting the clothes’ own carbon emissions from travel. And they’re made from organic cotton, which uses less water and hazardous chemicals.
Aldo sees moving away from ‘natural’ fibres – those taken from the earth – and towards lab-grown alternatives as an important shift for the fashion industry, and one that WEARPURE will be pursuing. “How can we rethink fibres and maybe grow these fibres using different resources that are not organic? We should be moving towards other solutions that integrate biology and technology. This could be extremely valuable, if we look at the domino effects that are behind the climate crisis.”
Next, the team will be expanding the existing collection, as well as working with emerging local designers Anna Masclans and Maria Carrion Ametller to bring WEARPURE.tech into their collections. The goal is for all WEARPURE garments to be made on demand, so that there is no potential for wasted stock.
Meanwhile, the Noumena team will be taking WEARPURE.tech beyond the world of fashion, to find out how CO2pure works on other surfaces like bioplastics and clay. And they’ll be using WEARPURE.tech to build the interior of the Spain Pavilion at the Expo of Dubai – by 3D printing 142 columns that will clean up more than a tonne of greenhouse gases.
“Technology can be a torch”, Aldo says, “to light up darker spots. It’s up to us to shine it where it’s most valuable”. WEARPURE.tech has the potential to transform the clothes we wear, the objects we use and the buildings we live in to carbon capturing machines – so we can all play our part in cleaning up earth’s atmosphere.
AtlasAction: Dress like a climate activist – check out the WEARPURE.tech collection and wear your way to cleaner air. And if you’re a maker, designer, architect or builder, get in touch with Aldo and his team to find out how you could use WEARPURE.tech in your project.
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Header image credits:
Project manager – Aldo Sollazzo, Noumena
Fashion Tech designer – Laura Civetti, Noumena
Fashion designer – Anna Masclans
Computational designer – Eugenio Bettucchi, Noumena
Nature-geek, urban forager and all-round wordy sort. Freelance strategist and writer for organisations that care about the future. Often found reading while walking.
Aldo Sollazzo, Founder
This project has been selected as part of FashionFutures, a new content channel that maps the work of people transforming the fashion sector: the designers, craftspeople, social innovators, educators, community leaders and communicators. Atlas of the Future is excited to partner with Makerversity, with the support of The J J Charitable Trust and their network of fashion friends.
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