Solar Shirt

Solar cells becoming a graphic print

solar fashion, printed electronics


Solar cells becoming a graphic print


The Solar Shirt was developed in collaboration with Holst Centre and launched in 2015 at the annual festival South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

The solar shirt’s main specification is in its innovative and progressive integration of solar cells into textile. Functioning as a fashion garment as an embodied interface, the shirt combines solar panels and flexible electronics.

Photography: Liselotte Fleur
MUAH: Angelique Stapelbroek
Model: Ann at Paparazzi Models


The shirt seamlessly incorporates 120 thin film solar cells combined into standardised, functional modules using Holst Centre’s stretchable interconnect technology for integrating electronics into fabrics. The Solar Shirt is designed as everyday wear that can charge a smartphone or any other USB compatible, portable device. With a fashion-forward design that includes practicality to be worn on a daily basis, studio Pauline van Dongen aims to take solar fashion from the catwalk to the high street.


Under bright sunlight, the shirt produces around 1W of electricity – enough to charge a typical phone in a few hours. The shirt can charge smartphones, MP3 players, cameras, GPS systems and other USB-compatible handheld or portable devices. Electricity can be stored for later use in the shirt’s battery pack, invisibly located in the front pocket.

Video by J R Hammond / Hammond Images, Animated by Michiel Verweij

At Pauline van Dongen we design and develop smart textiles and clothing in a holistic way. We believe in sharing our experiences and knowledge with others to jointly change the current fashion system that relies on unethical and unsustainable practices and causes devaluation of clothing.