One of the compelling (and lately, reassuring) things about the silver investment thesis is that it works pretty much no matter what happens. If the financial system spins out of control capital will flow into precious metals as the last form of stable money. And if “normal” growth resumes, then tight silver supplies will run into growing industrial demand, sending the price way up.
Meanwhile, new uses for the metal keep popping up. It’s a crucial part of silicon-based solar cells, for instance, so as solar panels cover the world’s rooftops more and more silver is taken out of circulation. And then there’s this:
If you are worried that drones are going to soon track your every move, you will soon be able to pop on a hoodie or burqa that will make you all-but-invisible to eyes in the sky.
The fashionable and security-conscious can now purchase “Stealth Wear,” clothing made from a silver-infused fabric that reflects heat, thereby making its wearer invisible to thermal imaging cameras.
The line’s designer, Adam Harvey, has previously designed an “anti-paparazzi” handbag that issues a counter-flash if a sensor inside the bag detects a camera flash and the OFF pocket, which kills a cell phone signal. Harvey says Stealth Wear has received more buzz than either of those projects.
“We’re crossing different genres, interesting a lot of people,” he says. “There’s a lot of products in the stealth area that are too militaristic or are too associated with the tinfoil hat crowd. I tried to do something that’s in between.”
What he came up with is a mix of form and function. The nearly $500 half-hoodie covers only its wearer’s chest and is a striking silver color that would stick out in nearly any crowd. But it renders its wearer nearly invisible to drones.
“We did it as a statement—it’s easy enough to make a suit that covers the entire body or a tactical outfit to be worn by military personnel,” Harvey says. “We wanted to make something that was useful and relevant but that would get people talking about the technology.”
For now, the limited-edition garments are being sold at Primitive London. The hoodie costs $473 and the burqa costs $2,365.
“I have a general interest in privacy and improving it through fashion and art,” he says. “These are really high-quality fashion garments, they’re not everyday wear.”
Okay, this might be a little silly. But in an age when privacy is threatened by technology, it’s not unreasonable to expect an arms race between surveillance and evasion. And if silver turns out to be the material of choice for stealth clothing, well, that’s a potentially big market. In the meantime there are lots of other new uses for the metal that in the aggregate should keep demand growing faster than supply for years to come.