Depending on the material of a surface, the coronavirus can live for hours or up to days. However, did you know that copper actually can kill viruses? In fact, back in the day, hospitals actually used copper for things like doorknobs to prevent bacteria and virus from spreading, and in 2015, researchers found that copper alloys used in hospital settings actually reduced infection rates by as much as 58%.
Now thanks to a clothing company by the name of Vollebak, they have developed a jacket called the Full Metal Jacket that weaves strands of copper into the fabric. This essentially turns the jacket into some kind bacteria/virus repellent, where if you were to wear it, it could help to prevent bacteria or viruses from adhering to your clothing and preventing you or other people around you from getting sick.
While this copper jacket might seem like a direct response to the coronavirus pandemic, Vollebak co-founder Steve Tidball revealed that the development of the jacket actually began about three years ago after watching a TED Talk by Bill Gates about pandemics. Each jacket contains 65% copper, which explains why it is so expensive.
The Full Metal Jacket is priced at $1,095 but before you get too excited at the prospect of buying it, it should be noted that it is unclear how effective it is in the real world. While it is true that copper does have antibacterial properties, whether or not this jacket is effective enough to prevent the spread of viruses and bacterias remains to be seen.
However, even if it does not work, Tidball believes that it could still be repurposed for hi-tech clothing. Given copper’s properties and use in electronics, this jacket could also help lay the foundation for smart clothing in the future, something that companies like Google have been working on.