Smart clothing makes its move

Latest apparel adapts to environment. body changes

Voice or app control Mercury Intelligent Heated Jacket engineered by Ministry of Supply. Photo: TIMOTHY ANAYA

Reinventing the wardrobe, wellness wear will be a staple for health-conscious folks.

This category of clothing falls under Wellness Fashion -- one of this year's biggest trends according to a report released earlier this year by Global Wellness Summit and Institute (GWS and GWI).

The future of the dynamic global wellness economy is shaped by the industry's leaders, who will gather for the annual GWS in October in Hong Kong.

Its 2019 report identifies Wellness Fashion as the first of the eight trends, with the boom for sustainable and smart clothing.

Apparel that adapts to environmental and physical body changes has today become even smarter.

Odlo's activewear are designed based on an organic body mapping concept. Within one piece of apparel, the design addresses different climate zones, warm and cool areas as well as sweaty parts. Besides climate control and ventilation zones, seamless warpknit technology allows flexibility and freedom of movement.

The Swiss brand has collaborated with Zaha Hadid Design for the summer 2019 collection. Based on a "layered space" theme, feminine yet functional parka, leggings and bralette are like second skin.

Biomapping and innovative materials are featured in Aexos' sportswear that protects the body during impact. Its Halo shirt, for instance, has a soft and flexible protective high collar that stiffens when being hit.

Founded by MIT alumni, Ministry of Supply started with Frankenstein socks and dress shirts, constructed by cutting and sewing fabric from athletic clothes. Its latest inventions include Mercury, a water- and windproof high-stretch jacket with coffee beans in its liner, which neutralises odour.

Buki's collagen-infused turtleneck top. Photo Courtesy of Buki

Moreover, Mercury is the first intelligent heated jacket, engineered with carbon fibre heating elements. A smart thermostat reacts to your body and environment, creating a microclimate through real-time reactive and proactive heating. The ideal heat is controllable through voice command or an app.

Likewise, an app allows wearers to control colour and pattern of high-tech clothing featuring ChroMorphous, a colour-adaptive material created by scientists at the University of Central Florida.

Start-up Lumiton devised Wear-Healthy technologies based on how light energy boosts cellular health. Infused with laser dyes, its fabric converts sunlight into red and near-infrared light, which removes the heat effect while claimed benefits include increased cellular energy and collagen, reduced pain and inflammation, as well as accelerated muscle growth and muscle recovery.

Likewise, Under Armour in collaboration with quarterback Tom Brady created Athlete Recovery Sleepwear with a bioceramic print absorbing natural heat and reflecting far-infrared back to the skin.

Women who seek constant skin moisturisation can clad in collagen. Seattle-based Buki embeds sustainably-sourced marine collagen in fabric, used for making scarves, camisoles and tops that also provide sun protection.

British brand Become supports female health and well-being by offering menopausal clothing, whose cool and lightweight fabric is made from a mixture of complex yarns, and coated with patent-pending Anti-Flush Technology. Absorbing heat from the skin's surface when hot, the technology releases warmth back onto the body during a chill.