The No-Contact Jacket is a wearable defensive jacket created to aid women in their struggle for protection from violence. When activated by the wearer, a high voltage electric current pulses over the surface of the jacket. This electrified field prevents any person from unauthorized contact with the wearer's body. Anyone touching the exterior of the jacket receives a sharp non-lethal current that causes them to immediately withdraw contact. This protective field will prevent an assailant from having any long term or continuous contact with the wearer's body allowing the wearer to break free from any hold and gain control of a dangerous situation or escape. The pain experienced is non-lethal but is enough to effectively and immediately deter contact with the wearer and provide a critical life saving opportunity.
The goal of the No-Contact Jacket is to call attention to violence against women and to offer an alternative response to the body's vulnerable space and boundaries that society, culture and fashion have created. The development of the No-Contact Jacket is to intervene into the social condition of violence against women.
Fashion through out history has tended to place women in positions of vulnerability. Female clothing designs historically and in modern times can be physically confining and limiting in mobility such as in corsetry, high heel shoes, dresses and tight clothing. Clothing that prevents protection creates a space around the body which is vulnerable and powerless. We have reclaimed the use of fashion to dramatically re-identify the female body and to protect her physical space and boundaries. Equally as important we are exploring the use of the body as an instrument of disruption of powerlessness and of limiting social dress codes and conventions.
The No-Contact Jacket also challenges existing power landscapes between men and women and alters ideas of human space and boundaries. Protecting and empowering the female body from unauthorized contact will allow for her to inhabit her environment in a more confident way and thus redefine and renegotiate her physical space and identity. The No-Contact Jacket will begin to shift ideas of perceived female vulnerabilities.
Featured in the book Xtreme Fashion by Courtney Smith and Sean Topham
Featured in the book Fashioning the Future by Suzanne Lee.
Featured in the book Twenty-first Century Design by Marcus Fairs.
The No-Contact Jacket was featured as one of TIME Magazine's Coolest Inventions.
Wall Street Journal by Jennifer Saranow.