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The Green Life: A Jacket for Drinking Rainwater

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September 21, 2011

A Jacket for Drinking Rainwater

Raincatch jacket Imagine a future in which our clothes can filter and store rainwater, letting us take a sip whenever we want. That future may not be too far away. As part of a school project, two students at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design designed Raincatch, a coat that does exactly that.

The jacket consists of what looks like a complex system of tubes, but the creators insist the coat's design is really quite simple: Its collects the rainwater, which then runs down the jacket's back, passing through tubes to get purified by charcoal filters and a chemical process. (It’s safe to assume the project received zero funding from the bottled-water industry.)

Impressively, the entire project, from idea to completion, was done in a mere two weeks. Joshua Noble and Hyeona Yang, the jacket's co-creators, say that access to clean drinking water is “one of the most important issues for the 21st century.” With the hiker, nomad, or “momentarily infrastructure-independent wanderer” in mind, they set out to create a “simple and minimalist” solution.

The limited timing (Noble and Yang's design class was only two weeks long) was one of the project's most challenging aspects. Noble added: “Materials in Denmark are very expensive and that was also quite difficult.” Though he and Yang got design and technology assistance from a couple of people, they assembled the jacket on their own using materials from clothing stores, hardware stores, and aquarium-supply stores.

Will Raincatch be appearing in stores anytime soon? Don’t count on it: Noble and Yang currently have no plans to mass-produce their coat.

--Josh Marx

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