It's an age-old problem for parents: Shell out money for clothes that their young children quickly outgrow. Now, however, 24-year-old London designer Ryan Yasin has put his degree in aeronautical engineering to use to create origami-like pleated clothing designed to grow along with the kids, reports Quartz. The result has just won him a James Dyson Award for students in the UK. Yasin has already established a clothing line, Petit Pli, inspired by what he calls "deployed satellite panels" that can stretch outward in multiple directions.
The lightweight fabric, which is waterproof and machine washable, is designed to stretch six sizes. Yasin's concept takes advantage of a principle known as auxetics already employed in stents and biomedical devices, reports the Guardian. So far, Yasin has developed more than 500 prototypes and says he'll use his $2,500 prize money to help start production, as he's in talks with a major UK retailer that might help him get the clothes on shelves in months. His main impetus, he says, was to cut down on the huge environmental waste linked to the making of clothes.