Italian start-up creates zero-impact t-shirt that cleans our air

London - Kloters, an Italian apparel start-up, is set to launch a new, zero-impact t-shirt that is able to clean the surrounding air from pollution. RepAir is the first smart t-shirt developed to clean the air around the wearer, featuring the ability to clean the pollutants produced by two cars, thereby bringing a whole new understanding to sustainable fashion.

With more than 2 billion t-shirts sold each year, undergarment start-up Kloters asked themselves what would happen if there was one t-shirt that could help combat air pollution. The end result of their work is the genderless RepAir t-shirt, designed in Milan and produced in Italy, which utilises "the Breath", a patented material that is able to capture pollutants including NOx, Sox, bacteria as well as unpleasant odours.

Italian start-up creates zero-impact t-shirt that cleans our air

The RepAir t-shirt is able to offset the pollution emissions of two cars

"The biggest challenge of the project was to realize a smart and aesthetically pleasant product, that also seamlessly integrates an innovative technology without affecting elegance, wearability and comfort," said Silvio Perucca, creative leader, brand product and sales manager at Kloters in a statement. The RepAir t-shirt is made using zero-impact production methods, as its founders aimed to go beyond the traditional concept of green fashion.

For example, the t-shirt itself does not need to be activated and its air-filtering component is not powered by any external energy sources. Instead, it incorporates "the Breath" cloth in a pocket on the front, which is composed of two external printable layers, a water-resistant anti-bacterial fabric that encloses an intermediate core made from dioxin absorbent fibre which is enhanced by nano molecules that are capable of absorbing and retaining pollutants in the atmosphere.

The air passed through the pocket and flows over the insert, trapping pollutants and unpleasant odours in the inner layer and releasing clean air. In addition to filtering pollutants, each t-shirt has been specially crafted to last longer than a single season and features performance characteristics similar to a t-shirt made from high-grade cotton. The entire production line of the t-shirts, available in black and white, is in Italy to further minimize the impact of transporting goods.

However, just like a normal air-filtering system the component needs to be replaced. The RepAir t-shirt is said to work for six months before "the Breath" cloth component needs to be replaced. At the moment the air-filtering cannot be recycled according to a report from Eco-Business, but Kloters is currently working with the producers of "the Breath" Anemotech to created a recyclable version. "We are extremely proud of the result of our efforts. RepAir is the expression of our brand’s philosophy, captured in our motto of 'Feeling Good,'" said Marco Lo Greco, Kloters brand and marketing manager.

"Our aim was to create a ‘fashion product’ not only pleasant to wear that looks good, but something capable of positively acting on the environment. We started analyzing the market and we found 'the Breath' that perfectly met our needs. The company that produces it, Anemotech, has been very enthusiastic about the project and our collaboration started immediately. Our dream has become a reality." RepAir is set to launch in selected stores and online in June 2018, following a Kickstarter campaign running in May. During the campaign, the RepAir t-shirt will be pre-released at a special price.

Photos: RepAir t-shirt, Kloters