If photovoltaics are the Coke-bottle-bespectacled, pocket-protector-carrying nerds of the wearable-tech frontier, then consider Diane von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, Rogan, Loomstate, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Lutz & Patmos, Loeffler Randall, and Joseph Muteti their fairy godmothers. Brought together by Elle magazine, the fashion houses and the Nairobi tailor worked with Sheila Kennedy, the director of the Portable Light Project, to design nine solar purses that supply both light and power. All the bags are currently being auctioned off on eBay, with the proceeds earmarked to further Portable Light’s mission of using energy-harvesting textiles to deliver power to developing communities.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
In addition to a high-brightness, energy-efficient LED light that draws power from the stored solar energy, each bag includes a USB connection that allows you to charge a a cell phone when the photovoltaic panels are exposed to sunlight.
Each bag includes a high-brightness LED light and a USB connection for charging a cell phone.
As expected, each tote bears the stamp of the designer who created it. Vena Cava’s tribal-inspired contribution, for instance, embraces designers Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock’s love of hand-drawn prints, while Loomstate’s maritime-minded carryall is classic American casual. Diane von Furstenberg brings her signature brand of femininity and elegance to her leather-and-canvas number, and Loeffler Randall’s bag echoes the label’s uptown-meets-downtown aesthetic.
Bids begin at $99, but they’re climbing rapidly. If you have deep pockets and a desire to own a slice of green-fashion history, the auction runs until July 15.