Friday, March 9, 2012

Can Nano-tech Affect the Fashion and Footwear Industry?

The company P2i, a UK based defense company recently showed off their product Ion-Mask. Ion-Mask water proofs any fabric without altering the fabric's appearance, feel, or weight. It does this by applying an extremely thin layer of protection at the molecular level. That layer is over one thousand times thinner then a human hair. In that thin layer are powerful water resisting elements. When water or something liquid comes in contact with these elements they actively resist, causing any liquid to either bead up immediately or be repelled from the Ion-Mask fabric.

What implications could this have on the fashion world? 
There are many potential applications for P2i's new product. Sneaker manufacturer K-Swiss has embraced P2i's new technology and have already incorporated Ion-Mask in their recent Blade-Light Running Shoe line. For footwear in particular it's a great concept. Most stains and discolorations occur because of your shoe coming in contact with some form of undesired liquid. For the sneaker lover there is nothing more frustrating than buying new kicks wearing them out and coming home only to see dried on  nasty stains. But that goes for any of our clothing really.

Here are some footwear products that already use Ion-Mask technology

With this innovation I would have to say the consumer would benefit the most over the longer run which is usually a good thing. That being said most big clothing companies may fear the Ion-Mask technology at first simply because it will make fabrics last longer. Longer lasting clothing means less people buying, less people buying means less need for design. This could initially put certain areas of the fashion world at a standstill. 

Other possible outcomes are the fashion industry and clothing manufacturers may ignore it and hope it doesn't go mainstream or they may claim there is something toxic and unsafe with scientist's(on their payroll) research to back it up. With their power over consumer choice we may never see this clothes saving application go main stream in our lifetime. But most likely they will take the product and market it in a way similar to Gore-Tex with a cute little logo that automatically means more money. Although in this instance it would be worth it because Ion-Mask technology is awesome.

New products and technology like P2i's Ion-Mask definitely breeds optimism which we think is great. It causes us to ask what other applications could this science be used for?  What about a fabric that withstands heat, or toxic chemicals? This innovation could be the doorway to something we only thought was possible in a science fiction world.


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Check out a similar article: Water Damaged Phone? Solved
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