A lot of apparel manufacturers are taking steps to be greener these days. That usually means focusing on factory emissions, using sustainable materials or sourcing locally. However, Aerochromics has taken green apparel one step further by introducing a T-shirt with color-changing dyes that detect air pollutants, like carbon monoxide, particle pollution and radioactivity.
As pollution levels rise, a pattern on the T-shirt (which costs $500, by the way) emerges from the solid-colored tee, Quartz reported.
The pattern starts appearing when the surrounding area reaches an Air Quality Index of 60. By 160, which the U.S. government says is an unhealthy level, the pattern is fully visible.
"Everyone should be living in good air conditions and not moderate conditions," Nikolas Bentel, the T-shirt's designer, told Quartz. "The project's store is secondary to the actual project. Yes, it's good to get this technology into the hands of the public, but it is also good to spread awareness about the hidden pollutions in our urban spaces."
So, for those wandering around polluted cities, like New York or Los Angeles, keep an eye out for these color-changing T-shirts. Just like how canaries indicated when coal miners needed to get out of the mines, these T-shirts can help city dwellers know when it's time to get some fresh air.
It's the only time you won't ever want to hear, "Wow, I love the pattern on your shirt!"