As we noted earlier this week, the world is facing the worst refugee crisis since WWII, with nearly 60 million people displaced worldwide. There are major gaps in humanitarian funding, leaving many without basic resources. For Syrian refugees struggling without shelter, the situation is particularly dire. But students at the Royal College of Art Interior Design & Textiles may have come up with a solution: a coat that turns into shelter. (Yes, you read that right.) It’s called the refugee wearable dwelling. It’s a garment made with sustainable materials that can be worn as a coat and also turns into a sleeping bag and tent.
As refugees worldwide flee conflict and violence, they are often left with nothing and constantly must move to seek safety. The coat is ideal for these dire situations. It’s made from Tyvek, a sturdy material to face harsh conditions, and lined with mylar, which insulates. When used as a sleeping bag, it is large enough for an adult and child. When expanded into full tent form, it can sleep four people.
The prototype has been tested and is ready to go into manufacturing, but the project needs funding. The team has set up a Kickstarter and is hoping to secure funding to start manufacturing and distributing coats through humanitarian agencies by summer 2016. See how the coat works in the video below, and consider donating.
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