Heads Up Green Fashionistas: Wearable Solar Is On The Rise

Flexible thin-film solar panels have been quickly making their way onto everyday garb in recent years, adding on-the-go charging systems for cellphones, iPods, PDAs, cameras and gaming devices to your wearables. Here's a quick roundup of the hottest planet-positive gizmos: Voltaic Systems has a super-snazzy solar backpack and messenger bag with battery storage capacity that allows it to function as a power reservoir even at night or on a cloudy day. Silver, orange or green panels add a dash of style.

A team of Iowa State University students recently invented a surprisingly chic solar-powered handbag (eat your heart out Prada!) and rice paddy hat for portable PV charging on the town or in the field. A cowboy-style solar hat is also in the works. The products will be available to consumers this year, according to the Discovery Channel.

And Solar Style now offers both portable solar chargers that you can pop in a briefcase, plus a combo solar-powered radio/flashlight/charger. They convert both artificial light and sunlight into usable electricity. Also check out Gaiam's solar cell phone charger that can be used for cell phones, MP3 players and digital cameras.

Finally, coming soon from SCOTTeVEST: a jacket for the likes of Buck Rodgers. A bank of multicolored solar panels on the back of the jacket connects to a power source in the pockets where you can plug in your hand-held devices.


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