5 Crazy Apparel Innovations You Need to Know About
For a long time, the only things “cutting edge” about the apparel industry were the blades on the garment-cutting machines. Sure, you had your moisture-wicking and antibacterial fabrics, your ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylenes and other assorted, unpronounceable materials, but that stuff’s only cool if you have a master’s degree in particle physics. Where was the apparel that could “wow” potential buyers on the first look, without having to get all science-y? Where were all the scratch-n-sniff jeans?
We weren’t the only ones to ask those questions. Turns out, intrepid apparel designers were wondering the same thing—and they’ve created new, high-tech apparel that’s so crazy, it might just be the next big thing in fashion. Here’s our five favorite items. It’s up to you to figure out how to use them for your promotions.
1. Stain-free T-shirt
A awhile back, a company called Ross Nanotechnology created a spray-on coating called NeverWet that could supposedly make anything waterproof. (You may have seen the YouTube video—it was a mega viral hit.) Once the stuff became available at retail, Slate kind of debunked the whole thing, noting that the product left a “white, gummy haze” on everything it touched, rendering clothing virtually unwearable. But now, a university student from San Francisco has developed a waterproof shirt that prevents stains while remaining comfortable for the wearer. Will it catch on? Maybe not, but we’re betting yes—the shirt beat its Kickstarter funding goal by 1491 percent.
2. Posture-correcting T-shirt
This shirt has a pattern of elastic bands sewn into the fabric and is designed to be more comfortable while sitting up straight than while slouching, rewarding good posture. For habitual, irredeemable slouchers like us, that might not be good news, but for those in need of minor posture correction it could be a godsend. It’s a good thing the elastic is designed to hold up for a long time, because at $200 a shirt, you’re likely not replacing your entire wardrobe with these things.
3. Mood-changing Apparel
Making use of so-called “emotional mirror” technology, these apparel items are being developed by a number of designers and use sensors to change color based on the wearer’s emotions. One company makes a sweater that reads your mood. Another makes workout gear that “visualizes exercise activity levels in real time,” according to greatist.com.
4. L.E.D. T-shirt
If you’ve secretly been hoping for a way to show the world how much you love emoticons—those little smiley faces slowly replacing words as our preferred form of communication—you’re in luck. This tee has an L.E.D. display that syncs to a smartphone app, allowing the wearer to upload custom messages and animations directly to the front of the shirt. The promotional potential here is huge, but don’t be surprised if everyone ends up using the shirt as a new way to send text messages.
5. Scratch-n-sniff Jeans
We’ve covered this before, but it merits another look because, well, scratch-n-sniff jeans! So far, they come in raspberry and mint, and use scent-containing microcapsules in the fabric that break open when scratched. Just make sure you don’t wear them around your cat.