Personal Protective Clothing: The Future of Functional Fashion

Personal protective clothing: the future of functional fashion

Fashion and technology are not mutually exclusive. 


In fact, as our ever-changing world becomes more and more digitalized, technological advancements within the fashion industry have continued to emerge from the woodwork (or should we say, “wool-work?”)


From plant-based alternative textiles to 3D fabric printing, there has been a surge of inspiration and innovation at the forefront of the fashion industry. 

But fashion, while among the many forms of self-expression, has always had to incorporate some degree of function at its core. Items such as rain-boots, to protect you from soaking your socks after stepping in a puddle, or sunglasses to shield your eyes from harsh, stinging rays may be among your familiar seasonal staples. 

Yet, what about the importance of purely functional fashion when it comes to workplace attire? What about the firefighter’s fireproof uniform? Or the sanitary scrubs of a surgeon? 

Image via EVG Culture from Pexels

A MOVE TO THE EVERYDAY USE OF PROTECTIVE WEAR

With the COVID-19 pandemic giving rise to the everyday use of personal protective clothing, these items are becoming part of daily attire, and are no longer reserved for industrial and medical professionals only. 

Considering that the integration of style and functionality is ultimately necessary within the future of fashion, let’s explore some of these technological advancements and innovations.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING INNOVATIONS

If in times of Corona, you repeatedly find yourself forgetting your face mask at home, a high-tech jumpsuit with built-in mask and gloves may be exactly what you need. 

Image via MONOSUIT

Image from MONOSUIT

Made of recycled yarns, MONOSUIT’s reusable, seamless jumpsuit, “Second Skin”, aims to reduce the wasteful consumption of masks and gloves, as many rely on single-use, disposable counterparts. The brand instead puts as strong a focus on sustainability as they do comfort and safety. 

Image via MONOSUIT

Made of recycled yarns, MONOSUIT’s reusable, seamless jumpsuit, “Second Skin”, aims to reduce the wasteful consumption of masks and gloves, as many rely on single-use, disposable counterparts. The brand instead puts as strong a focus on sustainability as they do comfort and safety. Their garments are zero waste. With a jumpsuit that features patented, hidden zips, it is marketed as the ideal outfit choice for yoga, light training, or a grocery store run. The safe and stylish ensemble is completed with the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) inspired COVIZER visor

Their garments are zero waste. With a jumpsuit that features patented, hidden zips, it is marketed as the ideal outfit choice for yoga, light training, or a grocery store run. The safe and stylish ensemble is completed with the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) inspired COVIZER visor

For those who are missing being “social” within “social distancing” protocols, a different futuristic suit may be a better fit. Production Club’s “Micrashell” offers a socially responsible solution that allows you to safely socialize at live events or in nightclubs in times of a pandemic. 

Image via Production Club

Completely covering the head, arms, hands, and upper torso, the suit consists of an air-tight top-suit and helmet. The PPE element is found in its air filtration and breathing system that uses N95 filters. While the suit can be applauded for its virus-shielding abilities, and easy disinfection properties, the innovation comes from its added, futuristic features.

The Microshell, and all its functions, are controlled through a smartphone app. An in-suit beverage supply system, a sound filtration function that allows you to control the volume of different detected audio levels, as well as a customizable lighting system that enables its wearer to display mood or needs are all key features. Imagine - a world where emotional connection is facilitated through the use of color-changing LEDs.

Image via Production Club

The intention behind Microshell was to create a means for safe socializing. But with advanced features like these, the parameters by which humankind understands social interaction will inevitably be redefined. Innovations like this could even enhance human safety - such as by adding in a panic button so that you can be assisted by a friend if you find yourself in a situation where you feel unsafe. 

ANTIVIRAL FABRIC

Viruses and bacteria can remain active on textile surfaces for days. The idea that we could potentially be bringing viruses into our homes every time we walk through the door is a cause for concern. 

Image via HeiQ

HeiQ’s Viroblock textile technology actively deactivates viruses and kills bacteria upon contact within a few minutes. This form of textile technology reduces the risk of contamination and transmission by preventing fabrics from becoming a host to these harmful viruses and bacteria, carrying them and distributing their spread.

The combination of silver-based technologies, (known for its antibacterial properties,) and fatty vesicle technology (Liposomes) works to destroy the viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 - the virus responsible for COVID-19. The result is a textile application that can be applied to all types of garments and can last up to 30 washes at a mild temperature. 


HeiQ’s antibacterial and antiviral technology, comprised of cosmetic grade, bio-based and recycled ingredients, is certified as safe and sustainable. However, innovations like these would still need to be used in conjunction with other safety measures such as hand washing, the use of sanitizer and wearing of face masks. Such inventions could launch us into what may become the norm for fabrics in the future.

Image via HeiQ

A company based in the Netherlands has created a sustainable and anti-bacterial 3D knitted face mask. 3D knitted fabric is one of the most recent developments in the digitalization of the fashion industry and is prized for producing less fabric waste. This zero-waste face mask is reusable, washable, and made to comfortably fit each face. 

The mask, consisting of cotton, PA and elastane, is made with antimicrobial zinc. It works to prevent droplet transmission while talking, sneezing, or coughing. 

Image via Knitwear Lab

A company based in the Netherlands has created a sustainable and anti-bacterial 3D knitted face mask. 3D knitted fabric is one of the most recent developments in the digitalization of the fashion industry and is prized for producing less fabric waste. This zero-waste face mask is reusable, washable, and made to comfortably fit each face. 

Image from Knitwear Lab

The mask, consisting of cotton, PA and elastane, is made with antimicrobial zinc. It works to prevent droplet transmission while talking, sneezing, or coughing. 

FLAME RESISTANT FABRIC

Image via Adrien xplr from Unsplash

Futuristic technology may not be entirely necessary to protect firefighters from flames. In fact, turning to natural fabrics may be the answer. 


The military, police officers and firemen are looking to use Merino wool garments as a base-layer for their uniforms, as the body’s ‘last line of defense’, as wool is the most flame resistant natural fiber. 

It is difficult to ignite wool, but once ignited, the flame spreads slowly and can easily be extinguished.A new studyfound that natural wool fabrics outperformed synthetic fabrics in flame resistance - by far.

Image by Adrien xplr from Unsplash

Futuristic technology may not be entirely necessary to protect firefighters from flames. In fact, turning to natural fabrics may be the answer. 


The military, police officers and firemen are looking to use Merino wool garments as a base-layer for their uniforms, as the body’s ‘last line of defense’, as wool is the most flame resistant natural fiber. 

It is difficult to ignite wool, but once ignited, the flame spreads slowly and can easily be extinguished.A new studyfound that natural wool fabrics outperformed synthetic fabrics in flame resistance - by far.

Findings deduced that skin covered with Merino wool and exposed to a naked flame remained similar to the undamaged, control skins. In comparison, skin covered in synthetic fabric experienced a splitting of the upper layer (epidermis), loss of voids and tissue discoloration. This is due to the fact that commonly used fabrics made up of polypropylene and polyester fibers have the propensity to melt and cause severe damage to the underlying layers of skin, while wool’s breathability, high ignition temperature and self-extinguishing behavior does more towards protect the skin beneath it.

Image via The Woolmark Company

Acting in a similar manner, cashmere is also an excellent flame-resistant fabric, as it will also not melt onto the skin and can self-extinguish once the source of the flame is out. Cashmere is known for being lightweight, breathable, soft and for providing superior insulation. 

Through evolution, the complex fiber structures of wool and cashmere have been optimized to provide thermal protection to mammals. Not surprisingly then, these properties make it the fibers of choice for garments to protect wearers in hostile environments and harsh weather conditions.

At THE GUESTLIST, we only use the highest quality Merino wool and cashmere. Our garments are long-lasting and incomparably soft and warm. At the end of the day, while the fashion industry is constantly advancing with new technology, true quality will never go out of style. When wearing THE GUESTLIST, you can feel more protected, while wearing sustainably made clothing, and looking stylish - all at the same time. 


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published