Air-Conditioned Clothing Helps Japan Survive Power Outages
Excruciating heat waves have swept over the United States for what seems like weeks. Most people have been cranking up the air conditioning to get some relief, and this extra energy usage has put undeniable stress on the power grid.
In Japan, where the power supply is unusually short thanks to the March earthquake, subsequent tsunami and fallout at the Fukushima nuclear plant, the government has asked people to limit their air conditioning use to help conserve power.
To both help conserve energy, the Japanese people have launched several interested initiatives: one encourages executives to take off their clothes to stay cool, while the other cuts the work week short to help companies use less power.
And now, it seems that the challenge of staying cool despite a crippled energy grid has spawned yet another creative idea: clothing with built in personal air conditioners.
According to a report by the AFP,†Kuchofuku Co. Ltd – whose name literally means “air-conditioned clothing” has seen an incredible increase in demand for its unique line of jackets.
Two electric fans in the jacket can be controlled to draw air in at different speeds, giving the garment a puffed-up look. But this has not deterred those happy to be cool rather than “hot” when it comes to fashion.
Nearly 1,000 companies in Japan use Kuchofuku, including automobile giants, steelmakers, food companies and construction firms.
Among its other products, the company also sells air-conditioned cushions and mattresses that use Kuchofuku’s patented plastic mesh system that allows air to circulate while supporting weight.
Learn more about these unique hot weather solutions in the video below:
Images via Flickr - skeddy in NYC