Modern technology was built on copper. Now clothing will be too.
- Built with over 4km of copper
- Breathable and highly elastic
- Two hidden zipped pockets
After we launched our Full Metal Jacket, it was named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2020. Built from over 11km of copper, WIRED called it “the virus-killing coat of the future.” Now we’re taking the same wonder material – copper – and using it to build clothing that works even closer to your body.
Thrown out of supernovas billions of years ago, copper is one of the most advanced materials in our solar system. It became central to the rise of civilisation, creating tools and sterilising water, before enabling modern day communication, transport, and electrical power.
And now, as we look for materials that offer us resistance to disease on Earth and up in space, and a base on which to build intelligent clothing, copper is set to be at the centre of innovation again. Every Copper Baselayer is soft, stretchy and breathable, and has over 4km of copper running through it.
Why we’re looking at disease-resistant clothing
One of the challenges we were already exploring when Covid hit was the role clothing can play in protecting against disease in remote environments on Earth as well as up in space where astronauts’ immune systems are already compromised. While we want the first people on Mars to be wearing our clothes, making sure we survive on Earth first, and understand how to avoid taking diseases from one planet to the next, is a good starting point.
Why we’re working with copper
Copper is biostatic, so bacteria and other life forms can’t grow on it. It also has exceptional antimicrobial properties which means bacteria and viruses die when they make contact with it. So as we enter a new era of disease on Earth, and we start to think about preventing Earth’s illnesses being carried up into space, we wanted to see whether it was possible to start making clothing almost entirely out of copper.
Viruses and bacteria can’t live on copper
Disease resistant clothing will become normal in the future, which is why we’re starting to work with copper now. It’s antimicrobial, which means bacteria and viruses die when they make contact with it. The copper releases electrically charged ions which make it difficult for a microbe to breathe, before punching holes in its outer membrane, moving in and completely wiping out its DNA, preventing it from developing any future resistance. These properties have been demonstrated by an extensive body of research and have come under the spotlight again in Covid studies.
It’s soft and stretchy and doesn’t feel like metal
You wouldn’t know that the baselayer had copper running through it just by touching it. Not only is the copper soft and malleable, but the baselayer is built with 19% elastane which gives it incredible four way stretch. There’s no move you could pull where the baselayer would restrict you. It’s also high wicking and breathable, so you’ll stay comfortable when you’re working up a sweat. And the underside has a soft, silky feel, making it easy to wear all day.
You can wear it from the office to the Arctic
The baselayer adapts to life in the city as easily as it thrives running, climbing or skiing in the mountains. We built a high integrated collar that can be pulled up - so whether you’re in the Arctic, the desert, or the city, you can protect your face from the heat, the cold and the weather. When you’re inside you can wear the baselayer with the collar down like a regular top, but still be ready for somewhere a little more hostile in a second.
Two concealed side pockets
You’ll find two hidden side pockets at the waist. Both pockets fasten with concealed zippers with rubberised pullers. And they’re big enough to keep your hands warm, or to carry your phone, wallet and keys.
The Egyptians were using copper medical tools in 2200BC
Copper has been used to combat disease for thousands of years. The oldest medical tools ever discovered were made from copper 4,000 years ago, and were found entombed with the remains of Qar, a royal physician from the Sixth Dynasty in ancient Egypt. The Smith Papyrus shows that 1,000 years earlier the Egyptians were using copper to sterilise wounds and transport clean drinking water. And they weren’t alone. The Babylonians would sharpen their swords and put the copper alloy filings into cuts sustained in battle, to reduce infection and speed healing.
Now it’s NASA experimenting with copper medical devices
4,000 years after the Egyptians, NASA is exploring the use of 3D-printed copper medical instruments on long-duration space missions. One of the issues with longer missions is that astronauts can experience an altered immune response, known as Immune System Dysregulation. It’s a condition that can leave them more susceptible to infectious diseases, which can harm their performance and in turn limit human space exploration. So NASA is now testing medical instruments built from copper for use onboard the International Space Station, to help reduce the risk of infection in space.
SIze + Fit
The Copper Baselayer is slim fitting and designed to be worn close to the body. If you’re on the borderline between two chest sizes or would like a more relaxed fit as shown in the photos, we recommend you go for the size up.
|Fits chest||83 - 90||91 - 98||99 - 106||107 - 114||115 - 122||123 - 130|
|Fits waist||71 - 76||76 - 81||81 - 86||86 - 91||91 - 96||96 - 101|
|Fits chest||33 - 36||36 - 39||39 - 42||42 - 45||45 - 48||48 - 51|
|Fits waist||28 - 30||30 - 32||32 - 34||34 - 36||36 - 38||38 - 40|