Dezeen Magazine

Condom material becomes sportswear for Pauline van Dongen's long-jump suit

Dutch fashion designer Pauline van Dongen has created experimental athletics apparel from the same material that contraceptives brand Skyn uses to make its condoms (+ movie).

Van Dongen's proposal re-appropriates the company's Skynfeel material, which is made from polyisoprene – an alternative to latex that is claimed to provide the same strength but with a softer, more natural feel.

Skynfeel long-jump suit by Pauline van Dongen

It is used to create thinner condoms for increased sensitivity, and is safe to be worn by those with latex allergies.

Currently the only brand that makes polyisoprene condoms, Skyn asked Van Dongen to take the material "out of the bedroom and onto the running track".

Skynfeel long-jump suit by Pauline van Dongen

The result is the Skynfeel Apparel jumpsuit, designed specifically for long-jumpers to help increase their aerodynamics and fly further through the air.

"What struck me about the Skenfeel material is that it's super-elastic, super-lightweight and super-strong all at once," said the designer, who is best-known for her wearable tech projects that include garments with integrated solar panels and illuminated running gear.

Skynfeel long-jump suit by Pauline van Dongen

"No matter how you mould it or shape it, it's going to feel great on your body," she continued. "We asked ourselves, can we create an ultra-lightweight garment and mould it in a way that could help long jumpers perform better?"

The suit features dragonfly wing-inspired flaps on the edge of the body, constructed from a thin layer of the condom material and reinforced by a geometric laser-cut grid.

Skynfeel long-jump suit by Pauline van Dongen

The flaps stay flat during the athlete's run-up, then open up after take-off to provide an upward lift that could extend time in the air.

"In the world of competitive sports, athletes look for every advantage," said Skyn senior global brand director David Chaker.

"We custom made an experimental suit for long jumpers to explore the possibility that our material could actually improve an elite athlete's performance."

Skynfeel long-jump suit by Pauline van Dongen

The condom industry is continually trying to improve its products, simultaneously gunning for better stimulation and protection.

Scientists are working on combining latex with wonder-material graphene to make condoms "more pleasurable", while researchers at the University of Queensland have developed a new method of using fibres from grass to manufacture condoms that are "as thin as human hair.

Skynfeel long-jump suit by Pauline van Dongen

Recently, a Swedish sex toy company developed a sheath with a tear-resistant honeycomb surface, while a group of UK schoolchildren won an award for a conceptual design that would change colour when in contact with a sexually transmitted infection.