ForeSights: Self-Cleaning Clothing; Clothing that can keep itself clean
Keeping clothing clean is a big business. Estimates are that the global market for textile washing products is worth upwards of $58bn as the quest to keep clothing clean requires the use of myriad products, from liquid and powder laundry detergents to fabric fresheners, stain removers, bleach, and more. But what if a new technology could render many of these clothing care products obsolete? This is the promise, challenge, and potential threat of self-cleaning clothing.
Keeping clothing clean via conventional means can be impossible in certain situations (there are no laundromats or washing machines on the battlefield); self-cleaning clothing provides a solution for these situations.
Consumer habits have a big impact on water and energy use over the lifecycle of a garment. Laundering frequency can vary by as much as 100% from one country to another.
Clothing-makers are beginning to recommend that consumers launder clothing less frequently in order to conserve natural resources. One garment maker is recommending that consumers only wash its denim jeans after every 10 wearings, not after every one or two wearings.
Self-cleaning clothing is engineered to cause potential water, dirt and oil stains to roll off of garments and rinse off with water. Silver ions weaved into clothing materials like denim kill odor-causing bacteria, reducing the need to launder garments.
ForeSights: Self-Cleaning Clothing examines the emerging trend toward self-cleaning clothing, which promises a revolution in clothing care. New clothing materials like silver fibers along with breakthroughs in nanotechnology and chemistry enable a new generation of clothing to go months without laundering. This report was compiled using Canadean's ForeSights methodology, which aims to identify new concepts that could influence the market in fast-moving consumer goods.Your key questions answered:
How has the plant world provided inspiration and design cues for self-cleaning clothing?
Traditional laundering uses huge amounts of water and energy. What percentage of a garment’s environmental footprint is generated by consumer care?
Do consumers over-launder their clothing?
What laundry issues are global consumers most concerned about?
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