UK: Clothes With Healing Powers
The 'Clothes That Cure' range, which includes underwear and dresses, is made of fabric impregnated with miniscule beads of medicine and herbal remedies. As the wearer's body heats the fabric, the substances are released on to the skin.
Diana Irani, creator of the range and a student at the Royal College of Art, said the clothing could give relief to chronic conditions such as eczema and arthritis.
"This method of drug delivery is more efficient than existing processes as it absorbs directly into the bloodstream through the skin," Ms Irani said. "The medicine can last for many months and clothes can be hand-washed repeatedly without losing their healing properties.
"Taking medicine in this way is easy, because it becomes part of your daily routine. The curative elements are natural herbal remedies based on traditional Indian medicine.
She said she had taken her inspiration from India, where restorative herbs are sometimes woven into the fabric of saris and headdresses.
"I can produce specially formulated clothes for each person's needs, and am working with medical researchers to develop an Internet consultation service," she added.
The British Standards Institution has given Ms Irani a special innovation award of £7,500. The designer is currently talking to Unilever and Body Shop and expects to raise enough funds to launch a company to test the market.
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