Solar Fashion Pioneer Pauline Van Dongen In Australia
Ever been on a camping trip where you had to start up the car to charge your mobile phone? Does leaving a hiking trail in search of a (non-existent) building with a power point sound familiar? Solar fashion has now developed so far that it’s solved the problem.
Solar parkas are now being worn in extremely muddy conditions by a number of nature reserve rangers in The Netherlands. All the rangers have to do to recharge their phones is drop them into a pocket of the parka they are wearing. No plugs, no batteries. Just a few small solar panels woven around the top of each parka. The only problem now is that none of the rangers wants to part with their parka!
Solar fashions with such practical technologies built into them are of course, more expensive both to make and buy. Naturally, greater care is taken to look after such garments by those wearing them. Anyone keen to live an eco-friendlier lifestyle will delight in realising that this means solar fashion has an extended life span, especially compared to fast fashion. And that spells waste reduction.
One of the pioneers of Solar Fashion, Pauline Van Dongen was in Australia last week as a guest of the Embassy of the Netherlands. Van Dongen’s solar fashion lines include tees, jackets and dresses. Small, versatile solar panels are arranged in patterns around the upper area of clothing. Comfort, style and appearance are equally important as solar functions. Lucky fashion design students from TAFE SA were the first in the world to be shown how to integrate solar panels into fabrics.
Solar fashion is gaining momentum around the world. Along with parkas, dresses, tees, jackets, hats, bags, neckpieces and backpacks have all been developed.
Van Dongen predicts that within five years, stylish and fashionable clothing with inbuilt heating and lighting will be available for purchase.
The future is here!