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The fashion industry has always pushed for the use of new, exciting, and texturally interesting materials to create new pieces. Some examples are hydrophobic fabrics so that our clothes are waterproof, or clothes that are made from recycled plastic.

In March, the Parisian fashion house, Coperni, pushed the limits again. They unveiled their Air Swipe Bag, which is made from NASA’s nanomaterial silica aerogel.

The silica aerogel is made by mixing a polymer with a solvent to form an initial gel. The solvent is then removed and replaced with air. This material is said to be the solid with the lowest density on Earth, which allows the bag to consist of 99% air and 1% glass and weigh only 33g.

NASA first used the silica aerogel to collect stardust samples from a comet in 1999, due to it being able to withstand 1200°C and a pressure of 4000 times its weight.

By Coperni introducing this material to the fashion industry, it opens the door to develop the engineering material even more for eventual use in the public domain. It’s low density and efficient use of materials could transform storage weight limitations, and the way we sustainably use materials to reduce waste.

One Eighty looks forward to the day when this kind of exciting engineering material may pass through our doors.

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