Solar-Powered Bikini Soaks Up the Rays, Powers Your iPod

solar power, solar clothing, solar fashion, eco-friendly swimsuits, sustainable swimsuits, eco-friendly bikinis, sustainable bikinis, wearable technology

Ready to hit the beach? Brooklyn-based designer Andrew Schneider is now taking orders for his solar-powered bikini. Capable of charging your cellphone or MP3 player, the high-tech swimsuit comprises thin, flexible photovoltaic film strips and USB connectors, woven together with conductive thread. Each bikini, coming in at just under $200, is entirely hand-stitched, requiring an average of 80 hours to make. No need to worry about your iPod running out of juice; the solar bikini will charge your favorite gadgets while you soak up the rays.

solar power, solar clothing, solar fashion, eco-friendly swimsuits, sustainable swimsuits, eco-friendly bikinis, sustainable bikinis, wearable technology


Surprisingly, the solar bikini doesn’t hinder your swimming opportunities. You can still jump in for a dip to cool off—as long as you remember to unplug your devices and dry out the USB ports before you connect anything else. Because the bikini transmits its power directly to your electronics, no actual energy is stored. “[It’s] totally safe,” Schneider tells Daily Mail. “Five volts at under an amp is a charge you wouldn’t even be able to feel.”

Because the bikini transmits its power directly to your electronics, no actual energy is stored.

For the gents, Schneider is working on a pair of trunks that chills beer. (A solid-state heat pump known as a Peltier junction acts as a cooling device.) Not that women can’t enjoy a cold brew: The “iDrink” features a larger surface area, so Schneider was able to squeeze a higher output voltage. “You’ve got tunes, you’ve got beer, you’ve got sun, and you’ve got each other in swimwear,” he says of his eventual line. “The rest is up to you.”

+ Solar Coterie

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6 Responses to “Solar-Powered Bikini Soaks Up the Rays, Powers Your iPod”

  1. Snjfinances says:

    80 hours to stitch a bikini that costs under $200? Um, that means if all you’re paying for is labor (free freight, free materials, no design costs, no labor profits, etc), then you’re paying less than $2.50 an hour. When you take into account the materials, freight costs, and profits for the designer, manufacturer, and retailer, then the person doing the stitching is likely making somewhere between $0.25 and $1.00 an hour. How in the world can anyone call this an “eco-friendly” bikini? Humans are part of the ecology, and when we purchase items we should be sure that we are using our money as a vote for fair wages, human rights, environmental principles, and keeping things local when possible. Great idea, extremely poor execution. This bikini should be made where it’s sold and should cost between $700 and $1,500 depending on domestic materials costs and how much the domestic manufacturer decides to pay its workers.

  2. sallydburley says:

    “An average of 80 hours to make” for “”Under $200”. Fair, sustainable wage? I think not.

  3. gridsleep says:

    At $700 to $1500 no one would buy it, the company would go out of business, and no one would make any money. Yeah, that’s a viable alternative. Good thinking. Did it occur to you that $1 an hour for someone who wasn’t making two cents an hour the day before is a king’s ransom? You should read about economies of scale. There is no magic wand that is going to instantly raise the entire planet to American standard of living. Most Americans use thirty times the resource of people in so-called impoverished countries (impoverished due to political and social oppression, not lack of willingness and resources), and some use sixty times. I use about eight times, which makes me progressive. What about you?

  4. snjfinances says:

    gridsleep: I completely agree with you that hardly anyone would buy it and the company would likely go out of business. I know a very great deal about economics, and I do understand that many people in this world struggle to make even $1 a day. Sure, $1 per hour to them is a lot, but these people may not even be paid at all for all we know. I just am of the school of thought that we do not pay for the true cost of anything. I don’t believe in the magic wand, either. Perhaps we should only buy and have the products that we can truly afford as a globally responsible society in terms of both social and environmental issues, and perhaps those are the only products that companies should sell. Not many people realize how much slavery is in the products we buy and sell, including the laptop I’m sitting in front of now. It’s a shame, and we’re all guilty. There’s no magic wand, but we citizens of developed countries hold the keys to reducing our demands of the planet and to help the world’s destitute to new levels of freedom, education, and employment. To tell you the truth, I’ve never measured my resource use against anyone else’s, but I do know that I do everything I possibly can to reduce the amount of petroleum-based and slavery-laden products I have and use, and when I can afford it I will be updating my house to be off the grid so that I can truly take a stand against coal and hydraulic fracturing. I would change my electricity supply to renewable, but it isn’t offered through my company, and I unfortunately do not have the choice to change it where I live.

  5. johnpeter says:

    Consider the costs (or rather profits) for free publicity and a lot of resources can be freed to sponsor the bikini. To me this is nice gimmick that will enlarge the brand name but also open peoples eyes on the growing possibilities of PV energy.
    Good show, and maybe they can reduce the production time in mass scale production.

  6. djuuss says:

    ” do not have the choice to change it where I live. ”

    You live underground? You live in permanent wind and light shade of surrounding buildings? You live in a single room?

    Otherwise, you have an opportunity.

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