What if we can make an interaction between the benefits of the human skin and the clothes we wear?
Designer Rosie Broadhead thought about this question and came up with the project Skin II. Broadhead is graduated from Central Saint Martins and is now a designer specializing in biomaterials in the fashion industry. ‘Skin II’ is made in collaboration with microbiologist Christopher Callewaert.
WHAT IT IS?
‘Skin II’ is a ‘second skin’ that looks like a leotard-like garment. Skin II incorporates live bacteria that reduces body odor, stimulate cell renewal and improve the immune system when activated by sweat. Probiotic bacteria are placed in the fabric where you sweat the most. The natural benefits of a human skin are now reinforced by ‘Skin II’.
‘Invisible to the naked eye, our bodies play host to millions of microorganisms.’Rosie Broadhead
WHY IT´S COOL?
- We live in uncertain times where people do everything to stay healthy. But what if, instead of using supplements, simply the clothes you wear can make you healthier? When you wear ‘Skin II’ the good bacteria are being activated when they come in contact with the moisture on our skin, this allows them to dominate bad, less beneficial bacteria. Because the probiotic bacteria are placed strategically on the places where you would normally sweat, the results are very effective. So, Skin II is interesting because it gives us more ‘good bacteria’ what means a better immune system and stimulate cell renewal.
- Besides the positive effect on ‘Skin II’ there is also a negative effect from the clothes we wear now a day. What you maybe don’t know is that a lot of clothes have toxic chemicals in it. In a research of Greenpace they tested 141 clothing items and in four of them they found high levels of toxic phthalates. In two of them they found cancer-causing amines. In addition, the presence of many other different types of potentially hazardous industrial chemicals were discovered across a number of the products tested. This was the original problem for Broadhead. She was concerned about the toxic chemicals that comes into our body’s by materials.
- Not only our clothes can be toxic for our body but also our cosmetics. Chemicals can be absorbed by skin. So, ‘Skin II’ is interesting because it brings us clothes that are healthier for our skin. It goes against the growing fast fashion.
“Our skin’s biome is shaped by our natural environment, and what we put on and next to our skin has a direct impact on our bodies” “Cosmetic products and fabric finishes on clothing can contain toxic chemicals which disrupt the diversity of bacteria living on our skin.”Rosie Broadhead
WHY IT HAS FUTURE GROWTH POTENTIAL?
This project is only a prototype from Broadhead and is not something that is on the market. The approach of Broadhead to give people clothes that are ‘alive’ through organic infused textiles gives us a lot of benefits for the future of fashion. Because Skin II’ is ‘alive’ you need to care better for your clothes. This creates a deeper bond with your clothes.
Designing innovative textiles instead of making a new garment is now more important than ever. If good organisms can help fight bad bacteria that accumulate on the skin, what other unknown benefits could materials have for us in the future?
Pictures: Hitti, N. (2019, 23 juli). Rosie Broadhead weaves bacteria into clothing fibres to create a second skin. Geraadpleegd op 8 juni 2020, van https://www.dezeen.com/2019/07/23/rosie-broadhead-weaves-bacteria-into-clothing-fibres-to-create-a-second-skin/
Youtube video: Mashable. (2019). This Futuristic Bodysuit Contains Bacteria That Reduce Body Odor [Videobestand]. YouTube. Geraadpleegd van https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyZ7jOODsIQ
Text: Broadhead, R. B. (z.d.). HOME. Geraadpleegd op 8 juni 2020, van http://www.rosiebroadhead.com/ Greenpeace International. (z.d.). Toxic Threads: The Big Fashion Stitch-Up. Geraadpleegd op 8 juni 2020, van https://www.greenpeace.org/international/publication/6889/toxic-threads-the-big-fashion-stitch-up/ Hitti, N. (2019, 23 juli). Rosie Broadhead weaves bacteria into clothing fibres to create a second skin. Geraadpleegd op 8 juni 2020, van https://www.dezeen.com/2019/07/23/rosie-broadhead-weaves-bacteria-into-clothing-fibres-to-create-a-second-skin/ Skin Series by Rosie Broadhead. (2020, 25 mei). Geraadpleegd op 8 juni 2020, van https://trendland.com/skin-series-by-rosie-broadhead/ Wilkinson, A. T. (2019, 13 augustus). Rosie Broadhead Integrates Living Probiotic Bacteria Into Fabric. Geraadpleegd op 8 juni 2020, van https://www.visualatelier8.com/fashion/2019/8/13/rosie-broadhead-skin-ii Woodard, A. (2017, 17 april). Answers to Common Questions About Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics and Personal Care Products. Geraadpleegd op 8 juni 2020, van https://toxicfreefuture.org/healthy-living/healthy-homes/cosmetics-and-personal-care-products/