Diesel is rolling out a new line of denim it claims can block Covid-19 and other viruses.
The jeans brand partnered with Swedish chemical firm Polygiene to apply a treatment called ViralOff to select pieces of clothing. The companies claim the solution can disable upwards of 99% of viral activity on the material within two hours.
Polygiene, best known for a chemical treatment that helps clothing resist body odor to extend the time between washes, first began developing the antiviral technology during the SARS epidemic of the early 2000s. The substance, which is applied during the final stages of clothing production, works by interacting with key proteins in the virus and preventing it from attaching to textile fibers.
Diesel is applying the treatment only to select clothing items for now, which are not yet on sale to the public, and plans to potentially expand it to more products in the future.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the novel coronavirus is more likely to spread by close contact with others rather than via surfaces, the agency still warns that it may be possible to catch the virus by touching a contaminated object.
Antimicrobial fiber has seen a surge of popularity in the apparel industry since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak as consumers increasingly seek out health and wellness products specifically designed to protect against harmful pathogens.