Hitting your head while skiing can put a real damper on your vacation. That's what the creators behind Swiss-based Ribcap thought too. So they designed a new hat to protect their noggins. Yours too. In addition to being really cool, super stylish and hip, the secret behind Ribcap's push into the marketplace is what's inside the woolen cap: d3o.
D3o, created by d3o Lab in England, is a flexible, rubber-like material sewn into the cap that hardens upon impact -- immediately. There isn't a chance to blink -- it hardens to protect your head that fast. And as soon as the impact is over, the material becomes soft and mushy again. This is one of those concepts that's somewhat hard to grasp -- how can something become hard that fast? -- but once you see it in action, you get it right away. Wearing a Ribcap, which is guaranteed to work down to approximately -10 degrees, gives you a stylish alternative to wearing a helmet on the slopes. Instead of a cumbersome hard structure, you get a soft and cozy knit cap made of a wool/polyester blend that helps reduce itching.
The first batch of hats, designed by Berlin-based design company Frisch, premiered in 2005 -- six years after Ribcap founder Jürg Ramseier, a former ski instructor in the Swiss Alps, concepted the idea. The latest designs came to life by Basel design duo, Lisa & Tom. All in all, there are 10 styles in various colors and designs. Ribcaps are available at retail throughout Switzerland for about $100 and from a few online shops, which are all written in German.
The beauty of d3o is that is can realistically be woven into nearly anything -- pants, gloves, shoes -- to offer ultimate protection against problems in everyday life, even the impact of (the off-chance of) getting hit by a car can be greatly reduced. There are already a number of sports recreation clothing companies incorporating d3o technology into their products -- and I only imagine this will continue to permeate the fashion industry.
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