By Christopher Flavelle Illustrations by Josie Norton, The New York Times
A climate reporter in Washington set out to test clothes designed for keeping cool. He found a few good (but pricey) options, along with some questionable claims.
Shirts made from the same polymer as plastic bags. Jeans infused with crushed jade. Garments constructed using computerized knitting for superior ventilation, or made with cooling technology designed for astronauts by NASA.
As climate change brings more intense heat waves, the next frontier in climate resilience is the clothing we wear, with innovations that promise to cool and dry the hot and sweaty masses. They could make life more bearable for construction workers, farmers, soldiers, and others who can’t retreat indoors as days and nights get hotter. . . .
“. . . In the past five years, changes in weather alone have increased sales of shorts and sandals by half a percentage point, while reducing sales of fleece and outerwear by 1 percent, according to Evan Gold, executive vice president at Planalytics, a company that quantifies the impact of weather on consumer demand.”
Given the size of the market — Americans spend roughly $25 billion each month at clothing and shoe stores — those changes represent a significant amount of money, Mr. Gold said.” . . . . .
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