Profile Of Silvr Lining :
Fashion & Lifestyle Clothing Co.
Silvr Lining is a design-driven fashion company offering three multi-functional, high-tech fashion and lifestyle brands. Silvr Lining’s design perspective is progressive and green, and it’s business practice pursues sustainability and renewability of materials and processes. Utilization of new technology to enhance the function and performance of company’s products and to bring added value to it’s customers is also embraced. The DUGWEAR (dual utility garments) line combines a California point of view with high quality, certified, organic fabrics to create styles for the active urban lifestyle. MODBOX is a high concept modular dressing system that can be layered and draped endlessly for work, play, and after 5PM, as well. The GO Collection is an urban sportswear line featuring integrated solar charging for personal mobile communication devices.
Lining was conceived in Southern California in 2008 during one of the worst worldwide economic downturns in modern history. The economic crisis coincided with growing global concerns over climate change and clean and affordable energy sources. The founders believe that we have the choice of a brighter future due to humankind’s indomitable optimism, pragmatism, and ability to continually innovate new solutions to evolving problems. Indeed, amid the bleakness, there is a silver lining.
Silvr Lining is based in sunny Southern California with design studios in the garment district of downtown Los Angeles. While the company is a distinctly regional Southern California point-of-view that defines it’s design attitude, Silvr Lining seeks to serve the global active-urban customer. According to the promoters of Silvr Lining they are committed to manufacturing locally, and their products proudly bear a “Made in USA” label.
Ms. Sandra Garratt is the design director of Silvr Lining. Garratt returned to California from New York with the desire to create a new kind of clothing company, one that not only reflected the people and culture of southern California, but one that combined high-performance materials with all-natural, organic, and animal-friendly ones. Garratt describes this choice as being a product of society’s becoming increasingly dependent on technology, while becoming ever more aware of the need to tread lightly and live sustainably. To that end, she created Silvr Lining.
In California, Garratt teamed up with Douglas Holmes, an electrical engineer looking for an opportunity to stretch his creative muscles. Together, they ended up creating Silvr Lining’s GO Collection, a line of urban sportswear that integrates solar panels that allow wearers to charge mobile devices while out and about. The sun is a huge part of life in southern California, Garratt says, and so integrating into fashion as well as technology seemed like the next logical step.
The GO Collection features a vest, two jackets, and a pair of cargo pants equipped with polymer solar panels. The panels have an attached power pack that can be hooked up to mobile devices to provide a charge. They simply slip into the garments’ pockets, are protected from the elements by a clear patch, and can be removed easily to allow for washing (unlike a certain solar bikini). The panels themselves can be wiped with a cloth for cleaning. Garratt decided on Ultrasuede for the clothing itself, which is made from recycled polyesters.
For her other collections, Garratt prefers natural fibers, but the reclaimed nature of this fabric speaks to her philosophies of sustainability, as she is constantly considering the father-reaching implications of the materials she uses. Even the panels were an experiment in material reduction, as they were designed to be as minimal as possible.
It’s kind of a weird stigma,” she adds with a laugh, “but there it is.” The collection comes in a variety of colors, ranging from bright, vibrant shades of orange and magenta to delicate greens, blues and earth tones. Noting that “they’re the colors of southern California,” some of the fabrics also sport a minimalist check pattern, which Garratt explains was taken directly from the pattern made by the circuitry of the panels.
“I think it’s inevitable that solar-powered clothing will become more popular, especially as technology continues to integrate itself further into areas like fashion and design,” Garratt says. She sees the future of solar clothing as becoming, “smaller, tighter and closer,” meaning that relatively bulky panels might one day give way to solar technology integrated into textiles themselves.
And it goes beyond the realm of fashion and into the realm of necessity, too. Garratt sees clothing with built-in power supplies as being a practical solution to emergencies, such as natural disasters where steady power might not be available. In the wake of the 2011 earthquake in Japan, Fukushima rescue workers used the Utility Vest and the Backup Power Pack as a much-needed power source.
Fashion and clothing design might not seem like the next immediate step in renewable energy technology, but technology and fashion actually share a long and close history. “Technology affects agriculture and manufacturing,” Garratt says. “Some of the earliest things to be manufactured on a large scale were textiles, so technology definitely influences fashion.”