In 1951, before he was Obi Wan Kenobi, Alec Guinness was The Man in the White Suit, a brilliant comedy where our hero invents a fabric that never gets dirty and never wears out. Of course the unions and the manufacturers did everything they could to put him out of business before he destroyed their industry- if clothing never gets dirty, who needs more than one outfit?
I wonder if the researchers at RMIT University in Australia have had their machines smashed yet. They have developed the fabric for the White Suit- "a cheap and efficient new way to grow special nanostructures – which can degrade organic matter when exposed to light – directly onto textiles." They say "A spot of sunshine is all it could take to get your washing done".
Textile Cleaned With Sunlight is a climate-friendly way of fulfilling the day-to-day needs of our societies, and the implementation of it will drive down household water consumption worldwide – a big boon particularly in severely drought-prone areas. Textile Cleaned With Sunlight may provide a true anti-stain fabric that never has to be washed or dry-cleaned, which represents a powerful example of how technology and design can be closely integrated to create value and long-lasting impact. Overall, this design will preserve a huge amount of water for our future generations.