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DressCode’s ‘Climate Code’ shirt has British Antarctic Survey input





Shirtmaker DressCode worked with the British Antarctic Survey to explore “how clothing could communicate important environmental messages in style, developing new dialogue and engaging people” – and the result is the Climate Code shirt.

The Climate Code shirt displays changing temperatures and CO2 levels over the last 80,000 years. Picture: Ian Olsson Photography
The Climate Code shirt displays changing temperatures and CO2 levels over the last 80,000 years. Picture: Ian Olsson Photography

The Climate Code shirt features two main datasets: the warming stripes of the shirt fabric represent the last 70 years of temperature records from the Arctic, with details providing the backdrop of 800,000 years of Antarctic temperature and CO2 data.

The duo started working last year on an innovative design which showcases a combined passion for the planet, data, tech and clothing, and “brings together the dynamic story of the past and the worrying trends of the present in a novel visualisation that aims to inspire climate action”.

“Clothing felt like a good opportunity, a shirt is something that many of us choose to wear, and it felt like a great canvas for the climate story,” said Pilvi Muschitiello, impact facilitator with the BAS innovation team.

The DressCode approach to fashion “has always been to embrace slow, sustainable fashion – shirts that will last a long time, with designs that are timeless”. For the Climate Code project DressCode used Tencel, a sustainable plant-based fabric, and printed digitally to reduce the amount of water and heat required to print onto the weave.

The Climate Code shirt has contactless payment technology embedded in the cuff. Picture: Ian Olsson Photography
The Climate Code shirt has contactless payment technology embedded in the cuff. Picture: Ian Olsson Photography

Andy Boothman, founder of DressCode Shirts, says: “The climate of the Earth and what we do to it over the coming years is pivotal to everybody’s way of life. This is a global challenge and we all have a part to play.

“We have looked at every aspect of production and thought about where we can reduce our consumption of resources, things like turning the heat of the finishing unit down during printing gives us a less ‘polished’ surface on our material, saving energy and creating a unique look and feel that our customers really enjoy wearing.”

The Climate Code shirt was revealed at the Cambridge CleanTech conference this week (October 20) throughout the day, as the city’s innovators and scientists gather together to brainstorm how technology can reduce our carbon emissions.

The unique shirt with a special climate change message melted from a block of 40,000-year-old ice symbolising the retreat of glaciers and sea ice and our warming climate. British Antarctic Survey, Professor Ed Hawkins from Reading University and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, and Dresscode Shirts have worked together to design the shirt to promote the science behind climate change.

The ‘shirt reveal’ was shared throughout the day on social media and members of the public were able to watch the thaw and see the new shirt as it becomes more visible.

Martin Garratt, CEO of Cambridge Cleantech, said: “When Cambridge Cleantech launched in 2011, climate change was nowhere near as prominent in the world as it is today. In the last decade, we have seen climate tech move to the forefront of solutions needed to combat the climate crisis.

Andy Boothman, DressCode Shirts founder. Picture: Ian Olsson Photography
Andy Boothman, DressCode Shirts founder. Picture: Ian Olsson Photography

“Governments across the world, including the UK, have adopted green growth as the key goal for the next decade. At our conference this month we will look at some of the most exciting climate tech innovations to come out of Cambridge in the last decade and the impact they have made.”

The Climate Code shirts feature the innovative CashCuff payment method, a contactless payment technology using a chip embedded in the cuff of the shirt.



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