The ATN Solar Car team, Australia’s first national, five state, five university, entrant in this year’s Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, (BWSC), has unveiled its racing uniform, a collaboration between sustainable fashion and textile designer, Dr Mark Liu, and high-performance sportswear company, Valour Sport.
‘We have to do more than design and build an incredibly energy efficient solar electric car – we have to convince the judges we’ve got the X factor when it comes to market desirability. We looked to see who was innovating in sustainable fashion. That led to Dr Liu, an acknowledged pioneer in Zero- Waste Fashion, and industry leaders in sustainable uniforms and sportswear, Valour Sport,’ Anna said.
Team Manager, Anna Lidfors Lindqvist, PhD candidate at UTS Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, said success in the Cruiser Class of the BWSC isn’t just about sustainable tech, it’s also about style.
Speaking at today’s launch, fittingly against the backdrop of International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), home to the first community funded solar energy project, with solar panels owned by everyday Australians, UTS Alumnus, Dr Liu, said the design brief mirrored the brief of the Cruiser car, to be functional and look good at the same time.
‘The ATN primary colour is a deep blue, almost black, reminiscent of an outback sky at the end of the day. The striking star design feature was inspired by a solar array grid pattern and the stars of the Southern Cross in the Constellation Crux,’ Dr Liu said.
When Matthew Knight and Ryan Tesoriero, Valour’s Founders and Directors heard of the ATN Solar Team’s ambitions to take on the world’s best, they knew they were the right partners for the team.
‘This is an endurance event. Team members, particularly the drivers, need to keep their cool in high temperatures, and we wanted them to be comfortable and look good, regardless of what nature throws at them,’ Mr Knight said.
‘As specialists in R&D of fabric technologies, we’ve redefined sporting fabrications. This ATN uniform is perfect for long days on the road. It’s treated with Polygiene Odour Control Technology, which is not only good news for teammates sharing a tent on the road, it also means you can wear more, wash less, equalling energy and water savings. As washing and drying accounts for two thirds of the environmental impact of a garment this can add up,’ he said.
‘Valour sportswear fabrics are also sustainably sourced, and its factory is 100% solar powered. All packing boxes and tissue paper are manufactured from recycled materials and sportswear is packed in biodegradable bags,’ Mr Knight concluded.
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Samantha Glass, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications at ICC Sydney, said they were immensely supportive of the next-generation’s innovations and talent.
‘We’re proud to be building our connections with UTS through the ATN Solar Car Team and we commend their commitment of producing a sustainable and innovative racing uniform. We look forward to following the team on their journey and wish them the very best of luck in the competition across Australia,’ Ms Glass said.
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