Children are like the anti-money tree – they grow at an extremely quick pace (around seven sizes in their first two years) and on average, their parents spend around £2,000 on their clothing alone before the age of three.
This constant cycle of producing and discarding clothing doesn’t just have a major impact on household finances, it also places immense pressure on the environment and it’s a problem which the latest UK Dyson award winner is looking to solve.
24 year old Ryan Yasin, a recent graduate from the Royal College of Art, has used his engineering skills to create a line of clothing which expands in both directions and is able to continuously fit children as they grow.
Room to grow
Called Petit Pli, the line currently fits children aged six months to 36 months and you can see how it works in the video below:
Yasin has used Negative Poisson’s ratio, which he first came across when studying aeronautical engineering, to develop the clothing.
By combining this ratio (also known as auxetics) with pleating, the clothing becomes thicker when stretched. Essentially the as a child grows, the pleats fold together or expand to move with them and as a result of heat treatment, the properties are able to last even through the wash cycle.
Speaking of the wash cycle, Petit Pli clothing also uses a hydrophobic coating which makes it waterproof. Whether your child is splashing in puddles or throwing a tantrum at dinner, any liquid should just pour straight off.
When it’s not in use, Yasin says the clothing becomes small enough to store in your pocket but when your child outgrows it completely, it’s completely recyclable too.
Winning the UK James Dyson Award means Yasin will receive a prize of £2,000 and be entered into the international round of the competition where he could win £30,000.
With the prize money currently in his pocket, Yasin hopes to further his research and development and form a team of expert that will help him turn Petit Pli into a business.
He’s already in discussions with distributors and manufacturers – the next stage is capturing the interest of potential investors which should be much more achievable with the award behind him.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.