ALMOST: EMS ExoTherm Jacket
It might be the coldest time of the year in the Northern hemisphere, but EMS has come up with a pretty hot idea. It's not *the* most eco thing on the planet, but it does use a nifty little renewable resource to keep you warm--air. Working much the way an inflatable sleeping pad does, the ExoTherm Jacket gives users warmth equivalent to a heavy fleece but with a more durable ripstop shell that's also windproof and water-resistant. Using that simplest of ideas--creating a hot pocket of air around the body's core--it keeps you warm without using synthetic filling. The jacket can be inflated with a few puffs, and deflated if you start to overheat, and returned it's source--the atmosphere--unharmed.
Now, we understand there's a fly in the ointment... The Gore AirVantageä that makes this jacket weather-worthy would take years and years to decompose in a landfill. And the Teflon in the Gore doesn't make it any prettier. Still, it's a neat idea--and one as old as time--only updated to create air pockets around modern bodies. We know this jacket isn't really eco, but we also think EMS should keep trying--there's gotta be a tangent in there somewhere that could work. ::EMS [by Kara DiCamillo]