Posted: March 16, 2012 in Extreme Fashion, Fashion First

Where shall I begin? I brought you an interesting creation by Suzanne Lee with fermented fashion, now I am compelled to bring you yet another innovative thought of fabric; it was only fair to post about both of these women whom share a unique story behind their attempt to enhance the quality of life for everyone. I wonder sometimes exactly how the mind could gather so many intriguing ideas to end up with one astonishing finished, yet tangible result. So I am excited to introduce designer Helen Storey along with chemist Tony Ryan that collaborated to proliferate apparel that filters pollution from the air, known as Catalytic Clothing. No, it has nothing to do with vehicles. Trust me, when I first came across the name of this brand, I seriously thought it was about a car part, you know the catalytic converter.  The whole reason why we are charged the $40 fee for a State Inspection, if you live in Texas, or like some other states such as, Tennessee you have a $10 emission fee just to ensure your vehicle does less harm in polluting the quality of the air.  The two main sources of pollutants in urban areas are transportation (predominantly automobiles) and fuel combustion in stationary sources, including residential, commercial, and industrial heating and cooling and coal-burning power plants (Socha, 2007). So hopefully, you have a mental impression of exactly where we are headed from here.  If not, I was going to tell you anyway.


Helen Storey and Tony Ryan state that Catalytic Clothing is a radical partnership bringing together the worlds of fashion and chemistry with the potential to clean the air we breathe (Dezeen Magazine, 2011). I will try not to lose you with all the compositions and terminology of chemistry. For the fabric that is being developed by Catalytic Clothing, photo catalysts are delivered to the surface of the clothing during the traditional laundry procedure as an additive within a standard product such as a fabric conditioner. The active agent is packaged within a shell that is attracted towards, and subsequently binds to, the surface of the clothing during the washing cycle. In the final product, when the fabric comes in contact with air or water, the photo catalysts break down the pollutants they encounter, thus purifying the medium. Pollutants that are not immediately broken down are, like normal clothing, washed off during subsequent laundering (Meryn, 2011).

If the entire campus at the University of North Texas wore clothing that was able to filter pollution, just imagine how great it would feel to know the air consumed could add to your life. Scientists at Brigham Young University and the Harvard School of Public Health found that life expectancy in 51 U.S. cities had increased by about three years in recent decades and that at least five months of that time could be attributed to better air quality (McKinnon, 2012).  In the meantime, I guess we will be waiting to exhale all the pollutants that we are sometimes oblivious to, and for the next best fabric that could truly be the fabric of our lives.



Meryn, Richard. (2011, August 17). Fabric that Purifies Air: Green Fashion with Catalytic Clothing. Retrieved March 15, 2012, from

Socha, Tom. ( 2007, September 9). Air Polltion Causes and Effects. Retrieved March 15, 2012, from

 McKinnon, Shaun. (2012, January 29). A battle to breathe. Retrieved March 14, 2012, from

Catalytic Clothing by Helen Story and Tony Ryan. (2011, June 15). Retrieved March 15, 2012, from

  1. montezunt says:

    Wow, this was a interesting and creative blog. I enjoyed reading it and learning something new. It is amazing how Helen Storey was able to integrate and focus on our environment while creating amazing designs in the quest to prevent air pollution. I would have never thought of this,

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