A pen that mends your clothes, a wardrobe that makes new clothes from your throw-aways, and a machine that turns plastic bottles into t-shirts.
The Electrolux Design Lab recently announced their Top 35 semi-finalists for the 2014 edition of the competition for design and technology students. Alongside futuristic air purifiers and a variety of food storage systems are a handful of ideas centered on creating more sustainable fashion.
The Fabric Pen is a major upgrade from the mini-sewing kit you can find in most hotel rooms. Users would be able to scan the area in need of repair and then print a patch of the same color and fabric onto the damaged area. The printed patch would automatically be attached and mask itself into the pattern of the existing fabric.
If created as imagined, the Fabric Pen would be a efficient and easy handheld clothing repair and personalization system small enough to throw in an overnight bag and slick enough to leave out on your dresser.
Zero Waste: always trendy wardrobe system would allow users to recycled their worn clothes into completely new, and on-trend, garments through and in home system designed to mimick a freestanding wardrobe. By using old clothes as the material for new garments waste would be minimized as well, in theory, as cost. A built in body scanner would ensure a perfect fit.
The 3D body scanning function of the Zero Waste: always trendy wardrobe would be useful even without the added functionality of having it print clothes from your existing closet. Body scans could be sent to custom clothing manufacturers ensuring proper measurements and a garment made with less waste.
PETE transforms Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles into new garments in the comfort of your own home. Users will insert their bottles into the machine, select a pattern and size, and watch as their PETE transforms waste into fashion. There is a precedent for turning plastic bottles into cloth so the idea of doing so at home is not entirely far-flung.
All three projects, like most entries in the Electrolux Design Lab 2014, are conceptual and unlikely to be created anytime soon. However, they do point towards a greater adoption of emerging technologies like 3D printing and an ever increasing desire for customization in fashion.