Vastra-Cool Jacket Ensures Optimal Ventilation During Strenuous Working Hours

Vastra-Cool Jacket Ensures Optimal Ventilation During Strenuous Working Hours


Vastra-Cool, a workwear jacket, is a clothing designed for construction professionals. Crafted from repurposed e-waste, this sustainable jacket prioritises the environment while enhancing comfort and functionality. In this interview with Divya Shetty, Prof Parth Shah (PS), Assistant Professor at the School of Design and Manager of Makerspace, along with Sanyukta Gupta (SG), a Sustainable Fashion and Textile student at Anant, the creators of this jacket, gave a detailed overview of the vision behind creating this jacket, its sourcing methods, durability, and more.

Can you tell us about your vision behind designing the Vastra-Cool Jacket?

SG: Summers in India can be relentless, especially for those working outdoors. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of construction sites in urban India. This has led to more construction workers labouring in extreme heat, resulting in heightened exposure to heat-related illnesses, dehydration, and fatigue. The idea of Vastra-Cool stemmed from the need to find a sustainable solution to this issue and to ensure that the working conditions of construction workers are improved.

What are the types of fabrics incorporated into the design? What machinery is utilised in the production process? Additionally, could you share whose mentorship or guidance you’ve got, especially given your status as a student?

SG: We used muslin cloth to make the jacket and a professional Juki sewing machine, DDL 8100e, for stitching. Other machines like Juki F1, M1 and M06865 may be used in the second stage of pilot production. In the making process, our in-house tailor, Ajay Bhai, was instrumental in bringing this to shape.

What technological innovations have been employed in the creation of the Vastra-Cool jacket? What advantages does this jacket offer, and to what extent does it lower temperature?

SG: Equipped with integrated miniaturised fans strategically placed on the garment (two in the front and two on the back), the Vastra-Cool jacket ensures optimal ventilation during strenuous working hours. The fans are derived from recycled electronic components and provide a continuous flow of fresh air, promoting a cooler and more comfortable work experience even in challenging environments.

Could you elaborate on your e-waste sourcing methods and the manufacturing process from procurement to production?

SG: I acquired the cooling motor fan from the Sunday scrap market in Ahmedabad. I then tested all the components, marked the dimensions on the cloth and put together the jacket in Anant’s Fashion Lab, which is equipped with advanced machines. The rest of the work, including fitting fans and other battery-driven components, was done in Makerspace, Anant’s digital lab offering a state-of-the-art prototyping and product development facility.

Which specific market segment does this jacket cater to, and is it tailored for general or industry-specific use?

PS: The Vastra-Cool jacket has been designed with the construction and on-site workers in mind. In its second design stage, we will improve it further and make it suitable for even those working in tunnels and mines. It was initially developed as an alpha-level prototype that can be used at nearby construction sites.

What is the durability of the Vastra-Cool jacket, and how many seasons can it be worn comfortably?

PS: The jacket is made with muslin, a material perfect for summer. It can easily be used for more than two years, considering the harsh working conditions of construction workers. It has been designed like a regular jacket with a standard front opening. A total of four fans are attached to it, two in the front and two at the back.

Is the Vastra-Cool jacket currently available for commercial purchase, and if so, could you provide an approximate pricing overview? If not, is Anant planning to do it commercially?

PS: The jacket is a design in progress; hence, it is not commercially available. We wish to take this design to the beta level and reach a point where we can manufacture a few units for pilot production.

What unique arrangements have been implemented to produce this distinctive garment?

PS: Anant National University provides solid infrastructural support for such projects and other product innovations. So, no special arrangements were required since we have fully-equipped labs already available for students. The Fashion Lab, where Sanyukta worked on this project, has more than 20 machines, including sewing machines, steam machines and other accessory attachments.

Any further details you would like to add about the Vastra-Cool Jacket which you would want to highlight with the media?

PS and SG: This workwear jacket is a revolutionary garment designed for modern construction professionals. Crafted from repurposed e-waste, this sustainable jacket prioritises the environment while enhancing comfort and functionality. The design combines practicality with eco-consciousness, reducing electronic waste while catering to the needs of construction workers.

Secondly, the batteries used to run the fans are Lippo rechargeable batteries. If the system is modified further, which we are working on, we will be able to charge these batteries using natural resources.

Can you briefly tell us about the Makerspace at Anant National University.

PS: Anant’s Makerspace is an 8,150 sq ft collaborative workshop area with state-of-the-art facilities for students to work on prototyping their studio projects. It is divided into sections for wood-working, metalworking, hand fabrication on plastics and workstations for clay, ceramics and plaster of Paris. The facility is equipped with a hi-tech digital manufacturing laboratory and an electronics workbench. The Makerspace team includes faculty and technical staff who train students in design and craft skills and empower them with the ability to convert ideas into reality.

Students can make the following explorations in the Makerspace area:

  • Proof of concept prototypes
  • Experimental models
  • Art and fun articles
  • Exploration of materials outcomes
  • Full working models
  • Programmable and intelligent IoT-enabled devices