COVID-19 is triggering a material rethink – about materials

Image credit | allanswart

We are suddenly conscious of things that used to go unnoticed, like materials. Now, they have a boost. COVID-19 has triggered clothing designers to come up with bacteria resistant materials that will not just be a temporary fix but long term fashion.

With the pandemic still in full swing in some regions and stories of other possible coronavirus suspects being discovered in pigs, we are already living a new normal. ‘They’ say that it takes 14 days to learn a new habit. Well, 14 weeks has produced a new way of living, working and playing.

And the playing part plays right into the hands of materials. As Wunderman Thompson reports, ‘from athletics to homewares to fashion, designers and manufacturers are starting to consider how materials and textiles can be leveraged as protective measures against viruses and bacterial contaminants.’

Protective clothing and materials will be fashion’s new ‘black’.

Just as we watch the TV at the moment, see two people shake hands on the screen, or sit too close to someone, we think ‘Woah, that’s a bit close’ so, too, will our other habits change.

It will become cool to be protected, so cool companies will leverage the opportunity and (thank goodness) start a new direction in fashion.

As Scott Pantel, CEO of Life Science Intelligence says, “the antimicrobial textile market is going to be one of the rare markets that is not only having a short-term bounce from the COVID pandemic, but will experience long-term growth,”

Already, brands are promoting their own, cool, face masks. Dog lovers are buying face masks with their favourite breed of dog on them, Tik Tok has their own design. Disruption in the materials market, from clothes, to bedlinen, to window dressings will be cool.

One leading clothing designer, Vollebak, has taken it to the limit. They have woven seven miles of copper into a jacket (which, obviously they call the Full Metal Jacket) that will retail for over a $1,000. But then, fashion items command those prices, and more.

Once materials have been made into clothes, then you can bet that other sectors will jump on board. Technology companies will finally find the real reason to sew monitors, screens and phones into fabrics. Fitness companies and athletics providers will find ever better ways to improve the fitness and performance of athletes.

It is interesting how we are reinventing how we use public spaces and the way we travel, meet and interact. It will be entirely fascinating to watch how arenas that produce materials begin a new wave of disruption across a number of industries.

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