This Dress Could Save the Planet

Illustration for article titled This Dress Could Save the Planet

This elegant evening gown, called "Herself," is an experiment. By coating the dress with a special concrete mixture (yes, concrete!), designer Catalytic Clothing claims it can, allegedly (stress: allegedly), suck up nitrogen oxide and CO from the surrounding air.


The air-purifying dress is a prototype—barely that, to be honest—but that hasn't stopped its designers from proclaiming it could clean up the environment simply by entering the room with a flourished twirl.

It's not all snake oil salesmanship though, as Discovery hypothesizes this hypothetical dress might utilize the same sunlight-absorbing properties found in Italian firm Italcementi's seemingly magical see-through concrete, seen here.

Building on that, there are other CO2-absorbing concretes on the market, so this isn't entirely without merit. Whether this tiny, sexy little number has enough of the stuff on its surface to actually reduce surrounding emissions by 65%, as claimed, obviously remains to be seen. [Discovery News]



The compound Titanium Dioxide has been used for years in concrete, but for different reasons. The additive makes the concrete white and you might have seen it used in numerous buildings but never have know what caused it, including many buildings by Richard Meier. It wasn't till recent that the environmental properties of Titanium Dioxide were known.

Essentially the compound is able to break down CO, CO2 and NO2, along with other compounds usually associated with smog/pollution, into their base elements. C, O2, N.... You never see the actually change, it happens at a molecular level. I have been studying it for a few years as I finish up my Masters in Architecture.

They have done testing at some buildings, including Richard Meier's Jubilee Church in Rome. The Titanium Dioxide in the concrete has made a "bubble" around the church where the PPM(parts per million) of pollutants in the air is less then the surrounding city. Pretty neat stuff.