There are a lot of methods available to keep clothes clean and wrinkle-free. Many of them involve chemical treatments, significant water and energy usage, or detergents with ingredients that are released into waste streams. What if the fabric itself could keep clothes in good, wearable condition with few resource inputs over time?

New York company Wool and Prince has developed a shirt that stayed fresh even after being worn 100 times without washing or ironing. According to the company, the shirt is made with a wool fabric that’s “a combination of superfine worsted yarn, low micron fibers, and a soft weave structure (the way the yarn is woven together).” In other words, the key to the fabric’s performance is the shape and weave of the fibers. Not only do the shirts require fewer inputs over time to keep them clean, less laundering means they’ll last longer than comparable shirts.

The fabric provides another example of how we can attain certain functions or benefits by rearranging materials at a small scale, rather using additional resources. It also shows how companies in completely different industries - in this case clothing and laundry detergent - are competing to deliver the same benefits to customers.

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