Image via wwd.com
In a world that is so reliant on technology how is it that we still have to bundle up with layers and layers of clothing to face the harsh winter cold? How is it possible that there is still no market for wearable tech in terms of self-heating jackets? These are the questions that the founder of Emel and Aris was asking herself when she came up with the idea of the smart coat. Being in the luxury fashion industry she recognized the need to combine style and utility to create a versatile coat that could be worn all day, every day.
The technology that makes this jacket heat up by the push of a button consists of a three-layered system: the fabric, the heating panels, and the wearer’s skin.
The polymer-based technology that creates far-infrared (FIR) heat is layered between the lining and the outside material of the jacket which is available in cotton, wool or cashmere. The technology works by producing heat energy which is absorbed by the skin to heat the body to a comfortable temperature without overheating. FIR heat is 100% safe for the body and even has health benefits such as pain relief and increased blood flow.
The jacket is considered a game-changer for the industry and was early on recognized by companies such as Vogue and GQ because of its design. When we hear the words ‘tech’ in fashion we usually imagine wires and battery packs and solar panels, but this is the complete opposite of the smart coat. When they launched their kickstarter for the coat in 2017, Emel and Aris were already an established luxury fashion brand. By utilizing their experience in luxury design they made sure to incorporate high quality textiles and cuts into the coats marketing it as a wardrobe staple. The coats were designed to be slim cut for an important reason. By removing the need for layering to stay warm the slim cut ensures that the heat is as close to your body as possible, keeping you warm all day.
Image via kickstarter.com
The beauty of the jacket is really in the design as it is virtually impossible to tell that there is a technology built into the seams. The smart coat has a rechargeable battery pack that is small and lightweight and is stored in an inner pocket. There are three heating settings available, the lowest setting provides the wearer with anywhere from 8 to 10 hours of heat, and the highest setting will provide up to 3 hours. There are two versions of the smart coat for both men and women.
Image via ideaing.com
With her knowledge of tech fashion Muchaneta Kapfunde did the ultimate trial for the smart coat by wearing it for 40 days, publishing a full review on FashNerd.
The top selling points of the coat for Kapfunde were its versatility and how user friendly it was. She says “the great thing about this coat is that whether you wear it with a casual outfit, office attire or a cocktail dress it will work”, the jacket has a high price tag (RRP beginning at £1,095) but this is an investment piece that you will ideally be wearing for years to come. She remarks how the jacket easily adapted to the different weather in London and she always felt prepared to face the weather with her smart coat by her side.
Gif via lionhouse.com
So how is it that we are not all walking around in self-heating jackets yet? The market of tech fashion is still in its developing stages and innovations like the smart coat are only the beginning. Overall, the battery life is one of the main limitations when it comes to tech and it is being developed in the realm of smartphones which will hopefully create a shift in fashion as well. The smart coat is an extremely innovative technology but the limitations of only being able to wear it for a set amount of time could be the reason we are not seeing more of these products on the market quite yet.
Smart fashion may not be the new norm quite yet but fashion enthusiasts are slowly embracing the collaboration between fashion and technology and big things are sure to come!
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