The US government deems readings of the Air Quality Index under 100 satisfactory, but Bentel argues, “Everyone should be living in good air conditions and not moderate conditions.” At 60, the fabric’s color starts to change slightly from black to white, and by 160—officially an “unhealthy” level—the pattern is fully revealed.

The transformation is reversible for two of the chemicals, but radioactivity triggers a permanent change. At $500, the price is steep for a piece of clothing that offers artistic commentary but lacks real utility. (Of course, if you’re exposed to radioactivity, you’ve probably got bigger concerns than the sunk cost of a one-off wear.)

Bentel tells Quartz that sales aren’t of great importance to him. ”The project’s store is secondary to the actual project,” says Bentel, whose intent is to highlight the dangers of poor environmental practices. “Yes, it’s good to get this technology into the hands of the public, but it is also good to spread awareness about the hidden pollutions in our urban spaces.”

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