As promised in autumn, the Spring/Summer 2008 ZegnaSport menswear collection dawns a luxury solar jacket. One of the first to market in sunlight harnessing textile inventions, Mens Vouge calls the new ZegnaSport solar jacket:
A marvel of eco-friendly efficiency, it resists the elements you can do without—like wind and rain, –—and uses the sun to power the digital devices you can’t be parted from. Solar panels mounted on the jacket’s neoprene collar soak up rays and then convert the light into energy….
This is not breaking news in the solar-textile field, because in 2005 Konarka solar products partnered with world class textile researchers. And it makes me wonder…What is the future of smart textiles and wearables? Will it be mixed with the latest findings in wearable computing? Biomimicry perhaps? What is ethical? Vegetable tanned leather solar bags? Sustainability means different things to everyone in this industry. In no time designers will have solar fabrics to add to the list of choices when sourcing eco-textiles for their collections. Lets hope the process of making these new inventions is both environmentally conscious in materials and socially responsible in manufacturing.