WEAR Sustain, the EU-wide competition for sustainable wearable tech and smart fabrics, has announced the 23 winners of its first Open Call.
Each company or project gets a cool €50,000 each to develop their technology or connected project plus mentoring and help from hubs including Women of Wearables. There's a really nice mix of ideas and areas of interest, all of which are eco and people friendly, in this first batch.
The winners include some familiar names such as Mi.Mu, the music manipulating gloves championed by Imogen Heap and Wisp, the line of sensory smart jewellery aimed at women, which we covered when designer Wan Ting Tseng presented it at last year's Show RCA in London.
Mainly, though, the list is made up of fresh names and projects from across Europe. As well as sustainable textile initiatives, they include Wearflex, a smart shirt that houses a flexible display to show notifications via conductive and electroluminescent inks; Breath! a wearable tech yoga collection to improve breathing and Brawas, a pair of smart headphones that monitor your mood and recommend music.
In health and accessibility, we have Zishi, a smart garment to enhance physical therapy of muscular skeletal problems; Quietude, a line of smart jewellery for deaf people and Tinker, a smart massage shoe. We'll be catching up with some of the WEAR Sustain teams and keeping an eye on their progress.
The total pot of WEAR Sustain funds is €3 million and a second Open Call will kick off in October 2017. So if you didn't apply this time around and you're working on tech that relates to the (very broad) topics of Environment; Use and Reuse vs Waste; Body, Physiology, Somatics; Energy, Emotional and Mental Health or Social, Cultural, Economic then check it out.