A couple of renewable energy experts have launched a campaign on crowdsourcing website Indiegogo to bring outerwear made from a solar-powered smart fabric to the market.
Carlos Cortes and Fatima Rocha co-founded ThermalTech after years spent making solar technology for the water heater industry. The duo started research and development in November 2013 and a little over a year later filed a patent in the U.S. and 10 other countries for a solar-absorbing technology made from stainless steel mesh fabric threads that gathers energy from the sun or artificial light to generate up to 18°F of heat for the wearer in just two minutes.
The company has since created six jacket styles (three each for men and women) insulated with ThermalTech fabric, providing warmth without the bulk found in traditional outerwear and thus allowing for a lighter, more fashionable look on the coldest of days.
The Indiegogo campaign, which kicked off Wednesday, has already reached more than 70 percent of its $25,000 goal with 30 days still to go. Production is expected to start in March and the company said the jackets will begin to ship in mid-July.
“We believe that by introducing this solar-absorbing fabric into the apparel marketplace, the next generation of outerwear will provide the consumer with even more of an optimal temperature and fit,” Cortes, the chief executive officer, said. “This will allow everyone from the snowboarder to the fashionista to be warmer in colder climates.”
Retailing for around $300 and available in several colors, the styles span Street (for everyday wear), Explorer (suitable for camping, hiking and fishing) and Extreme (ideal for snowboarding and skiing), are machine washable and come with a one-year warranty.
“Our goal is to help people stay warm in any environment without having to sacrifice fashion and comfort,” Rocha said.