The Next Fashion Trend? Clothes You Hardly Need to Wash

iStock/Yana Tikhonova
iStock/Yana Tikhonova

Detergent companies and laundromats will not be pleased. In a recent Fast Company article, journalist Elizabeth Segran profiled a number of clothing manufacturers who are looking to change the apparel industry by offering clothing that encourages fewer washings.

Companies like Unbound Merino specialize in what they call travel clothes—items made of heavy-duty fibers like wool and designed to be washed infrequently. (Icebreaker, a New Zealand-based outdoor clothing company, encourages users to wear its merino wool Tech-Lite shirts for up to a week between washings.) Another company, Pangaia, makes clothing out of cotton and seaweed fibers and treats them with peppermint oil, a natural antibacterial agent, to keep them fresh between washings. These materials tend to let bodies breathe, reducing the chance of trapping sweat and letting odor-causing bacteria linger. Unbound Merino chooses a light, thin wool fabric that mimics the feel of a cotton T-shirt.

The idea is to design apparel that comes in handy for traveling, since finding places to launder clothing can sometimes be difficult, especially if you’re backpacking or far from hotel amenities. But the ambition is also to create more eco-friendly attire. Fewer washes means less water used.

One question remains: Can the companies overcome decades of aggressive marketing from detergent companies about washing clothes regularly? For some, it will come down to the sniff test. After going three weeks without washing a shirt or dress and still not detecting anything offensive, consumers might turn into believers. That’s assuming they can get past the price. One seaweed shirt from Pagaia runs $85.

[h/t Fast Company]

This Cool T-Shirt Shows Every Object Brought on the Apollo 11 Mission

Fringe Focus
Fringe Focus

NASA launched the Apollo 11 mission on July 16, 1969, ending the space race and beginning a new era of international space exploration. Just in time for the mission's 50th anniversary this year, Fringe Focus is selling a t-shirt that displays every item the Apollo 11 astronauts brought with them to the Moon.

The design, by artist Rob Loukotka, features some of the iconic objects from the mission, such as a space suit and helmet, as well as the cargo that never made it to primetime. Detailed illustrations of freeze-dried meals, toiletries, and maintenance kits are included on the shirt. The artist looked at 200 objects and chose to represent some similar items with one drawing, ending up with 69 pictures in total.

The unisex shirt is made from lightweight cotton, and comes in seven sizes ranging from small to 4XL. It's available in black heather or heather midnight navy for $29.

If you really like the design, the artwork is available in other forms. The same illustration has also been made into poster with captions indicating which pictures represent multiple items of a similar nature.

The Reason Sneakers Have an Extra Set of Holes

iStock/PredragImages
iStock/PredragImages

If you examine your favorite items of clothing closely enough, you may start to ask questions like: Why are shirt buttons on different sides for men and women? (Because, historically, women didn't dress themselves.) Or why do my jeans have a tiny pocket? (To hold your pocket watch, of course.) Both of the clothing quirks mentioned above are relics of a different time, but if you look at your sneakers, you'll find a commonly-ignored detail that can be useful to your daily life.

Most sneakers have an extra set of holes above the laces that are often left empty. The holes may not line up exactly with the rest of the laces, indicating that they're there to serve a special purpose. For many situations, ignoring this pair of holes is totally fine, but if you're tying up your shoes before a rigorous run or hike, you should take advantage of them.

The video below from the company Illumiseen illustrates how to create a heel lock with these extra holes. Start by taking one lace and poking it through the hole directly above it to create a loop, and then do the same with the lace on the other side. Next, take the ends of both laces and pull them through the opposite loops. Tighten the laces by pulling them downwards rather than up. After creating the heel lock, secure it with a regular bow tie.

What this method does is tighten the opening of your shoe around your ankle, thus preventing your heel from sliding against the back of it as you run. It also stops your toe from banging against the front of your shoe. The heel lock is especially handy for long runs, walks, and other activities that often end with heel blisters and bruised toes. Even if you aren't slipping on your shoes for exercise, lacing up those extra holes can make a loose-fitting sneaker feel more comfortable.

Of course, the trick only works as long as your laces stayed tied—which even the most expertly-tied knot can't guarantee. Here's some of the science behind why your shoes often untie themselves.

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