Innovation That Matters

The Hope hoodies | Photo source

A self-cleaning hoodie developed for the homeless

Nonprofit & Social Cause

Clothing that repels liquids, sweat and stains could help those forced to sleep rough

Spotted: Social impact startup, Unhoused, uses innovative tech solutions and transparency to help the homeless. Now, the charity has developed a self-cleaning hoodie that uses nanotechnology to repel liquids, sweat and stains. 

Unhoused is an online retailer where, for every item bought, another is donated to someone without a home. The company’s co-founder, Varun Bhanot, came up with the idea for the stain-repellent clothing after noticing the dirty and unwashed clothing worn by rough sleepers who aren’t able to reach washing machines. He began looking for a sustainable solution that would allow those who do not always have access to such washing facilities to stay clean for longer periods.

Bhanot and partner, Anisha Seth, developed their own proprietary Freshtech™ nanotechnology, which is applied to fabrics. Water and liquid bounces off the surface, or beads off without adhering or soaking through. This keeps the fabric dry, clean and odour-free. The pair also point out that the technology has the potential to make clothing more sustainable, as it can be worn longer before it needs to be washed, saving water.

Anyone can buy the hoodies on the Unhoused website, but Bhanot and Seth’s focus is on helping the homeless. Speaking to Springwise, Seth told us that: “A record 726 homeless people died in the UK last year — mostly due to cold and rough sleeping. We therefore called our hoodies Hope because we believe it could be revolutionary to the future of clothing and change the course of how we think about putting a permanent end to this epidemic.”

Springwise has long championed the use of tech to help solve wider social problems. Innovations recently covered here include building sustainable social housing and the conversion of double-decker buses into homeless shelters.



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