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]

The New iPhone 11 Is Triggering People With Trypophobia

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

People with trypophobia, or a fear of clusters of small holes, know which triggers to avoid. Soap bubbles, lotus seed pods, and the insides of cantaloupes can all induce panic and revulsion in people who are sensitive to the pattern. Now, they have a new item to add to their list. As Gizmodo points out, the new iPhone has a design feature that's turning off trypophobes.

Apple debuted the iPhone 11 at an event on September 10 ahead of its release on September 20. This latest model comes with many upgrades, including a super-powered processor and longer battery life, but the biggest change has been met with a mixed reception.

The iPhone 11 Pro has three camera lenses where there would normally be one. People who prefer Apple's sleek, minimalist style have criticized the design, while those with trypophobia have had even stronger reactions. Some scientists think the fear of clusters of holes originally developed as a survival mechanism to steer people away from infectious diseases. When someone gets nauseous at the sight of three cameras grouped on the back of a smart phone, it's because it reminds them of decaying flesh.

Presentation launching iPhone 11.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The iPhone likely looks the way it does today thanks to another highly specific fear that afflicted Steve Jobs. The Apple founder suffered from koumpounophobia, or a fear of buttons—an incredibly rare phobia that's only been documented once in all of psychiatric literature. His fear may have lead to the popularization of the smooth, buttonless touch screen. It also explains why the tech giant preferred black turtlenecks to button-down shirts.

Though similar to trypophobia, a fear of buttons and fear of clusters of circles aren't quite the same thing. So while triggering to many, the updated iPhone doesn't necessarily conflict with Jobs's original design aesthetic.

[h/t Gizmodo]

The Reason Why Ships Are Often Painted Red on the Bottom

75tiks/iStock via Getty Images
75tiks/iStock via Getty Images

If you’ve ever salvaged a sea vessel, you might have noticed that ship hulls are often red. If you haven’t dealt with a shipwreck—and chances are you haven’t—you may have still seen a red hull in pictures or in partial view at a shipyard. Since that portion of the ship is below the waterline, it seems strange to opt for a specific color.

The reason is tradition. And worms.

In a piece for Jalopnik, Andrew P. Collins explains that early sailing ships protected themselves against barnacles and wood-eating worms by covering their hulls in a copper or copper oxide paint that acted as a biocide. The copper gave the paint a red tint. By reducing the muck that naturally collects on the hull, ships can maintain their structural integrity and avoid being weighed down by gunk like seaweed that would reduce drag.

These days, biocides can be mixed with virtually any color of paint. But the hulls are often painted red to maintain a nautical tradition. Collins also points out that the red may help observers gauge the load of a ship’s cargo. The more weight on board, the lower in the water it will be. That's why you often see numbers positioned vertically on the side of the hull.

No matter what’s covering the hull, it’s never going to completely eliminate growth. Often, ports will prohibit ship owners from scraping hulls while docked, since ships traveling in outside waters might have picked up a non-native species of weed that could prove problematic in a new environment.

[h/t Jalopnik]

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