New design is a jacket/sleeping bag for homeless
You could call these coats "transformer clothing" because they do change from a coat into a sleeping bag. But you could also call them humanitarian and inspirational because they save homeless people from freezing in the winter.
Created by a student industrial designer Veronika Scott from Detroit, the Element S (Survival) Coat is self-heated and waterproof and transforms into a sleeping bag at night. It took the designer a long time to test out the possibilities--the first one weighed twenty pounds and was terrible looking. After taking advice from homeless advisors at a local shelter the latest version is made of water and wind and air-resistant polyethylene on the outer layer, which acts as a barrier.
She has now started up a small non-profit business, Empowerment Plan, which provides homeless women with employment opportunities. In preparation, she has traveled to social entrepreneur fairs, met manufacturers, renovated a space in Detroit on the cheap.
The goals of the Empowerment Plan are:
Veronika has had help from her friends. Carhartt is a local company which specializes in work wear and they have donated industrial sewing machines, materials and training guidance. In addition, a local industrial fabric company, is helping her with manufacturing so she can make her coats more quickly.
If you are inspired, you can donate to the project.