Big in Japan: Solar-powered bra can charge your iPod

Unless you’re built like Naomi Campbell, you can go ahead and forget about Victoria’s Secret. After all, anybody with an eco-conscious knows that lingerie is about to go green…

This week here in Tokyo, the famous lingerie maker Triumph International Japan unveiled its environmentally friendly Solar Power Bra.

As demonstrated by the striking models of Triumph, the new bra features a solar panel worn around the stomach, which can produce enough electricity to charge your iPod. It is also made of high quality organic cotton that has met the international textile safety standard “Eco-Tex,” and comes in a lovely Earth-friendly shade of green.

Of course, the best part is that that the bra is equipped with two refillable pouches, which can store drinking water, and alleviate the need to carry around environmentally unfriendly plastic bags. And, if you’re feeling a bit insecure about the size of your bust, fret not as the pouches happen to be located right where you need them!

But, don’t take my word for it, but rather the testimony of the oh-so adorable model Yuko Ishida: “It is very comfortable and I can really feel involved in eco-friendly efforts as well.”

Saving the environment never felt so sexy (^_^)

The release of Triumph’s solar-powered bra couldn’t be timelier, especially since the Hokkaido Toyoko Summit is scheduled to take place from July 7-9 on the northernmost island of Japan. Dubbed the ‘environment summit,’ Hokkaido Toyoko will host the ministers from the Group of 8 developed nations, and will address environmental issues that were raised at their previous summit in Bali.

And, in a country where trends and fads can make or break a product, it’s encouraging to note that being eco-friendly is now the height of fashion in Japan. Indeed, Triumph has already released several other green-themed bits of lingerie including include a bra that turns into a reusable shopping bag, and a bra that uses removable metal chopsticks for under-wire.

Although it should go without saying, let’s be clear on one thing: like the concept cars that make the rounds at international auto shows, Triumph’s line of eco-bras is not actually available for purchase in stores. Quite simply, the problem with the Solar Power Bra is that “people usually cannot go outside without wearing clothes over it,” at least according to Triumph spokeswoman Yoshiko Masuda. She also added that you can’t wash the bra, or get it wet in the rain as it does have exposed circuitry.

But, the point is that the Solar Power Bra, regardless of how user-unfriendly it might be, can help reshape consumer demands for products that are more environmentally sound. It can also help launch a mainstream dialog over the importance of highlighting climate change at the individual level by demonstrating how we can all play a small role in protecting Mother Earth.

So ladies, what are you waiting for? Ditch those obsolete sports bras and get ready to go green!

(Special thanks to Emily Loos for uncovering this sultry little news item!)

** Photos taken by Katsumi Kasahara (AP), Junko Kimura (Getty Images) and Yoshikazu Tsuno (AFP/Getty Images) **