Designed to help you relax on any planet. Welcome to chill-out gear for Mars.
- Double-layered, 3D-knitted hoodie
- Built by the same machines that build mattresses
- Ultra-soft material embedded with anti-bacterial silver microparticles
Life on any early Martian base will be intense – as we’ll have to rebuild everything we take for granted here on Earth. It means downtime will be key. So we’ve started working on chill-out gear for Mars that’s designed to help you feel at home, even if you’re 249 million miles away.
Built by the same machines that build beds, the Mars Hoodie is the ultimate comfort hoodie – it’s what you’ll wear when you’re watching your favourite TV show from Earth on another planet. The double-layered, weighted, 3D knitted hoodie is created out of multi-dimensional fabric, and unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Its padded, sculptural texture is based on the Martian surface, the cooling systems on spacesuits, and the pressurised inflatable buildings likely to become home on our second planet.
Designed to feel like you’ve stayed in bed
However extreme the future becomes, at the end of a hard day you’re still going to want super comfortable clothes to relax in – it really doesn’t matter whether you’ve disappeared off grid on Earth, or you’re living on a base on Mars. And life on any early Martian base will be especially intense, as we’ll have to rebuild everything we take for granted here on Earth. It means downtime will be key. And that’s why we started working on a hoodie that’s designed to feel like you’ve stayed in bed.
A hoodie built for downtime
The Mars Hoodie is what you’ll wear when you’re watching your favourite TV show from Earth on another planet. At least that’s the brief we started with. Because not everything in space will need to be crazily high tech. Most of the time astronauts on the International Space Station float about in t-shirts and khakis. Which means we’re going to need clothes to help us relax on Mars too. It won’t all need to come with state-of-the-art robotics, built-in life support systems or heads-up gold visors to block out the sun’s rays. We’ll need loungewear too.
You’ll want comfort up in space
While you might imagine wanting to take a jetpack or a laser gun to Mars, in reality you’ll be better off taking things that are comfortable, comforting and familiar. Your guitar and photo of your grandparents are more likely to get you through the trip. Explorers and astronauts have known this for a long time. It’s why Shackleton took books from his personal library to the Antarctic for him and his men, and why The Space Shuttle Program instituted a PPK allowance (known as a Personal Preference Kit). Since then, astronauts have carried their favourite clothes, national flags and even a saxophone up into space.
It's double layered and 3D-knitted
The Mars Hoodie is a double-layered, weighted, 3D-knitted hoodie created out of multi-dimensional fabric, and unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Its padded, sculptural texture comes from the unique way its layers are blended together. During the knitting process the area between the upper and lower layer is pushed full of yarn and allowed to expand, giving it its custom puffy 3D appearance. Short of leaving the house wearing your duvet, the Mars Hoodie is the closest you’re going to get to lying in your own bed 24-7.
Built by a machine that builds beds
To make clothing this unusual requires an equally unusual machine. The reason the Mars Hoodie shares its DNA with bedding is because it’s been built on a monster circular knitting machine that stands over two metres tall. And it’s that tall because it uses the same techniques used to make mattresses. Sitting on top are eight yarn feeders. Each feeder can be programmed to knit a single pixel, or bit, within the textile. This means the textile can be engineered from the yarn up, giving complete control over the whole process.
We worked with textile lab Byborre
To build the Mars Hoodie we worked with Byborre – an experimental textile studio pushing the frontiers of material innovation and complex 3D-knitted fabrics. But what interested us just as much was their work combining fabric innovation with psychology – from cold plasma air purifying suits, to pillows with vibration elements to help dementia patients communicate. Their philosophy is ‘knitted communication’ and it comes from the idea that every piece of clothing should be able to do more than one thing.
We built the Mars Hoodie to have as low an environmental impact as possible. One of the many innovations the textile mill we worked with has made is around transparency. By sticking to rigorous processes it can measure exactly what goes into making the Mars Hoodie. So we know it is produced using almost 40% fewer greenhouse gases, 40% less water and 15% less power per kilogram than a conventional material.
A Mars Hoodie that looks like… Mars
As well as being insanely comfortable, the pattern we designed on the surface of the Mars Hoodie is based on the cratered surface of Mars itself, the liquid cooling systems you find in spacesuits, and the design of ‘Mars Science City’ by Bjarke Ingels – which imagines a future of giant, pressurised, interconnected inflatable buildings. It’s why the hoodie is covered in cratered sections and others that look like they’ve had air pumped into them. And it’s this patterned mattress-like effect that makes it feel like you’re climbing into bed.
Built for comfort
Everything about the Mars Hoodie has been built to maximise comfort. So either side of the hood you’ll find elasticated drawcord adjusters to tighten it up. The hood is lined, just like the rest of the hoodie, so it’s soft against your face and skin. The cuffs and hem are bound and elasticated. The sleeves are shaped and darted for added articulation. The front zipper is heavy-duty and two-way so you can undo the hoodie from the top and the bottom at the same time. And the centre hood seam is taped internally with grosgrain and topstitched. The hoodie is also breathable, insulating and high-wicking.
What the hoodie is made from
The Mars Hoodie is made from 50% recycled nylon and 50% virgin nylon we’ve sourced from Spain then knitted together in Italy. Then there’s the yarn-filled middle part. Because the Mars Hoodie weighs more than a standard sports hoodie, it feels more like a super-soft protective outer layer. It’s also embedded with anti-bacterial silver microparticles. These kill germs, bacteria and odours and will prolong the life of your hoodie. Because you don’t really want bacteria floating about in space. That never ends well in the movies.
Pockets on the outside and inside
You’ll find two large, zipped pockets on the outside of the Mars Hoodie. These are lined just like the rest of the hoodie, and you can either use them to hold your Personal Preference Kit, or just give yourself a hug. You’ll find two more pockets on each side of the inside of the hoodie, and we’ve kept these ones open for easy access.
Clothing can soothe you
The science behind why certain objects soothe us is just starting to be understood. A paper published in 2020 in ‘The Journal of Integrative Medicine,’ showed that weighted blankets and other soft comfort objects reduce anxiety. In children we call these ‘transitional objects’ – something to ease the passage between being by themselves and being connected with another human. It’s why a blanket is one of the first things a child is likely to own, helping them adapt to new situations. Objects like this likely play a similar role for adults, too.
Our space story so far
Over the last 3 years we’ve been exploring the realities of life in space, and how clothing can start to solve some of the challenges we’ll face. In 2019 we launched our Deep Sleep Cocoon – a cross between a cocoon and a spacesuit, it’s designed to help you sleep during the 16 sunrises and sunsets you get every day in low orbit. Next we launched our Mars Jacket and Pants which come with anti-gravity pockets and 3D printed vomit pockets to tackle space adaptation syndrome – puking in space. With the Mars Hoodie we’re working on the idea of ‘how do you feel at home on another planet?’
Mars is the back-up plan
Humanity’s insatiable thirst for growth and resources on an already overburdened home shows no sign of slowing. 80% of Earth’s natural forests have been destroyed and calculations indicate that oil will run out as early as 2060. No one place can sustain infinite growth. Without a back-up plan, one thing is certain: we will become extinct. To stop us going the way of the dinosaurs we need to become a multi-planet species.
Life on a second planet
This is not a new idea. When Sputnik 1 was launched six decades ago, one US headline called it “one step toward escape from imprisonment on Earth”. Newsweek described the Apollo Program as “the best return on investment since Leonardo da Vinci bought himself a sketchpad”. And in his 2008 TED talk Stephen Hawking declared that “our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain lurking on planet Earth, but to reach out into space,” and that “once we establish independent colonies, we should be safe.” So it’s not weird Elon Musk wants to go into space. It’s weird that other people don’t.
Size + Fit
The Mars Hoodie has a regular fit.
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