Jun Kamei’s fabric innovations are breathing life into a sustainable future
Author: Simon Mills
With the world’s temperature predicted to increase 3.2℃ by the year 2100 (according to a report by The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), causing a sea level rise that would affect billions of people and submerge some coastal cities altogether, Kamei is thinking not of flood but an amphibious future: ‘A time where large percentages of the planet’s population will spend as much time in the water as on the land,’ he says. It’s a big idea to help solve a major problem but Kamei is not fazed by the ambitious enormity of the task ahead. ‘I feel that designers should not be scared of tackling the bigger problems,’ he says. While the design community tends to operate at ‘product level’, his kind of micro design thinking can actually prove pivotal in tackling the macro and complex issues around climate change and seismic environmental shifts. ‘The principle is really simple,’ says Kamei, ‘a combination of material science, and modern technology. Our Amphitex material is waterproof, but the membrane’s micro pores allow gases to pass through it. Which means that oxygen is able to travel from the water to the inside without actually letting any water pass.’ And unlike many of its sporting and impermeable competitors currently on the market, Amphitex – which is free from PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) and is made from a single-source (or mono) material, making it 100 per cent recyclable – is truly sustainable.