Sleeping Bag Coats: Makeshift Wearable Homeless Shelters


As anyone in the north knows from first-hand experience, winter weather makes it hard to stay outside for long. For those without a roof over their heads, this is not just about convenience but concerns basic survival. This is where Veronika Scott – a Michigan-based product design student – comes in.

The self-heated, waterproof and multi-functional Elements Survival Coat is designed around over 18,000 homeless people living in Detroit. It converts readily into a sleeping bag at night, while providing portable warmth during the day.

Tyvec is used for the outer shell, while a synthetic+wool blend provides skin-friendly padding for the inside liner. Total material cost for a single coat is under ten dollars – the labor time is what matters more.

Donations are being accepted to help buy velcro, plastic tubing, scissors and hot glue that go into the construction process. Of course, clothing alone is not the solution – this coat comes with a minimum-wage job, food to eat and other assistance for getting back on one’s feat. It might not be a long-term solution, but any home is better than none … and the materials+assembly price is difficult to beat.

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