A coat that doubles as a shelter for refugees

Students at the Royal College of Art have designed a garment that can turn into a shelter for an adult and a child.

In what the Guardian describes as giving “fresh meaning to the term wearable technology”, a group of 10 design master's students at the Royal College of Art have designed a coat that can be turned into to a shelter or sleeping bag big enough to fit an adult and a child.

London-based clothing brand Wall mentored the RCA students (Gabriella Geagea, Anne Sophie Geay, Cassie Buckhart, Eve Hoffmann, Anna Duthie, Jess Wang, Hailey Darling, Zara Ashby, Ruben Van den Bossche, and Giulia Silovy) through the development of the prototype. The material used for the design is Tyvek, which is strong, light, soft and water-resistant. The inside of the coat is insulated with the same material used in spacesuits and for runners post marathon. The team have added plenty of pockets for personal items. 

Though the thought process behind the garment is very commendable, there are critics who’ve said the coat is more suited to music fesitvals than to refugees. But it is certainly an innovative attempt at coming up with a solution to a serious problem: the displacement of so many people from their homes. It is estimated that in 2015 alone, more than a million refugees arrived in Europe from countries like Syria. 

The student group are using a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the costs of producing the coat and they hope to be distibuting a final product by June of this year.  Below is the video clip published on their Kickstarter page.

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