A Royal College of Art graduate who became frustrated at how often his nephew outgrew his clothes has nabbed this year's prestigious James Dyson Award after he invented outfits that grow with them.
The 24 year-old designer Ryan Yasin noticed his two year-old nephew was growing out of gifts he had bought him and set about finding a solution: the answer was Petit Pli, clothing which expands in both directions, meaning outfits fit children between six months and three years old.
According to Yasin, who also studied aeronautical engineering at Imperial College, children grow seven sizes in their first two years, with parents spending an average of £2,000 before their child reaches three years old.
The invention works by employing the Negative Poisson's ratio, which creates materials known as auxetics, often used as stents and biomedical impants. They become thicker perpendicular to the applied force when they are stretched. Petit Pli materials use pleats to "deform" in both directions, by either folding together or expanding.
The clothing is also hydrophic, making it waterproof, and the jacket is small enough to squeeze into a parent's pocket when it's not being used. It's even recyclable.
Yasin beat competition from a wristband which can recognise and help to prevent a hot flush in women experiencing the menopeause and a multi-use child carrier, flight seat, feeding chair and travel mat for babies.
Also on the shortlist for the award was a cutting-edge weather station for farmers and a compostable tent which can be left behind at festivals by revellers.
As part of the prize Yasin scoops £2,000 prize money and the chance to enter the international round of the competition, the winner of which will receive a £30,000 top prize.
“It’s an honour to have won the UK James Dyson Award, it’s just great to have that backing and recognition of my solution," Yasin said.
"The prize money is an added bonus, but I know how I will use it. In addition to supporting my R&D, it will help me form an interdisciplinary team of experts to take Petit Pli to the next level: putting it in the hands of parents worldwide, and making a tangible difference to the way we consume resources in the fashion industry.”
Last year's winner was Isis shiffer, who designed a foldable helmet made of cardboard, which is expected to go on sale this year.