Urbanella is a rainproof cape that packs away into a handy bag
This raincoat by design practice Studio Mesh comprises a zip-up, hooded cape made from recycled materials to offer a more sustainable alternative to umbrellas.
Urbanella is designed to be worn over anything and packed away into a small pouch that fits inside a pocket or bag. The design has been shortlisted for Dezeen Awards 2020 in the wearable design category.
As well as being stylish and portable, the cape offers a more durable alternative to a standard umbrella.
“Umbrellas are by far the most convenient all-season rain gear, but are not easily recycled and often land up in landfills,” said Studio Mesh.
“Nylon is the primary material used in an umbrella. The second material is metal, which is the most sustainable material in an umbrella, however, it is rarely recycled,” explained the studio.
“Along with this, materials such as fibreglass and plastic are used to offer its folding and clasping mechanisms. The use of multiple materials makes it quite a challenge for recycling.”
Once an umbrella is broken or lost, they often end up in a landfill. Studio Mesh created the cape as an alternative wearable version that would keep the wearer dry and fit just easily into a bag when not in use like a folding umbrella.
To fasten or loosen the hood, the wearer tugs on a cord that loops through metal eyelets.
Urbanella is made of a single piece of soft recycled polyester with a waterproof yet breathable coating.
“Our biggest challenge was to source the right kind of waterproof coating that will allow for the recyclability of the material,” said Studio Mesh
“Urbanella is made to last a lifetime. In case users want to dispose of it, we facilitate closed-loop recycling in collaboration with our supplier.”
The cape is made from a single, circular piece of fabric without any seams that would require sealing, as the sealant would make the garment harder to recycle.
Studio Mesh chose a light grey colour that would look good with most outfits for the unisex item of rainwear.
“Our customers belong to no specific gender or age group making it truly inclusive,” said the designers.
Founded in2017 by Henry Smith and Elena Maran, Studio Mesh is an art and design studio that’s based in London.
Other unusual umbrella designs include KAZbrella, which inverts to prevent dripping indoors, and an origami-inspired umbrella that can snap back into shape if blown out by the wind.
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