Wearable Solar Dress

Harnessing the power of the sun

solar fashion, sustainability


Harnessing the power of the sun


Wearable Solar started as a project researching the possibilities of integrating the solar panels into textiles.

The multi-disciplinary team behind the research was composed by Pauline van Dongen, Christiaan Holland (Project leader Gelderland Valoriseert from the HAN) and Gert Jan Jongerden (Solar-energy expert).

Two designs were primarily introduced in 2013, constructed in order to capture solar light and convert it into electricity under the name Wearable Solar Dress and Wearable Solar Coat.

Photography: Mike Nicolaassen
MUAH: Angelique Stapelbroek
Model: Julia J. at Fresh Model Management


The two wool and leather prototypes comprise parts with solar cells which can be revealed when the sun shines or folded away and worn invisibly when they aren’t particularly needed. If worn in the full sun for an hour, the solar cells can store enough energy to allow a typical smartphone to be 50% charged. Internal structure of the solar panels is made by layering and resembles the stratified cells of a human body which naturally interacts with the sunlight. Embodied experience comes naturally, as the body is in this case becoming a real source of renewable energy.

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.