Innovation That Matters

High-end fashion items collect and store solar energy

Fashion & Beauty

From the Netherlands, Wearable Solar is a range of high-end garments that feature solar panels, enabling wearers to charge a mobile device.

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The importance of our smartphones has led to charging points being installed in a number of outdoor places, from parasols to handbags. Now a Netherlands-based fashion designer has created Wearable Solar, a range of high-end garments that feature solar panels, enabling wearers to charge a mobile device.

The project came about after entrepreneur Christiaan Holland approached experimental designer Pauline van Dongen and solar energy expert Gert Jan Jongerden with the idea to create a way for music festival attendees to keep their smartphones charged without a plug socket to hand. The range so far consists of two prototypes — a coat and a dress — made from leather, wool and strips of rigid and flexible solar cells. On each piece, the parts containing the solar strips can be folded out and put away again depending on when they’re needed. The coat includes 72 rigid solar cells, while the dress features 48 flexible panels, and each item can fully charge a standard smartphone after two hours in the sun. The video below offers more information about the project:


Although it’s unclear if the team is currently planning to bring the range to market, Wearable Solar shows that consumers who would buy into this kind of tech innovation don’t have to sacrifice high-end aesthetics. Will we next see solar tech integrated into the everyday fashion items consumers already wear?



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