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“Magic” coat that could save lives

Paris homeless to benefit from warm and weatherproof garment that transforms into both a sleeping bag and shoulder bag

A WARM and weatherproof winter coat that transforms into both a sleeping bag and a shoulder bag is set to help homeless people in Paris survive the onslaught of winter.

The first 70 items of the so-called “Future Coat” in France are to distributed among the city’s neediest people on Saturday by members of the Croix Rouge, Femmes de Demain and Action Froid.

When Christine Bruneau, president of the Femmes de Demain association, discovered the remarkable coat, which was originally designed by a former fashion student in the USA, she was determined to bring it to this side of the Atlantic.

She told France Info: “Working on a product that is insulated from the cold and rain, that is weatherproof and antibacterial ... I thought the idea was suited to vulnerable and poor people in France and Europe.”

But Ms Bruneau’s project involved more than simply importing the product to France. She also wanted to support jobs in this country. She explained that it would have been relatively easy and cheap to import the coat from China, but said that she wanted to, “show solidarity for workers in France”.

The coats are made from recycled plastics and the old uniforms of firefighters.

To make a donation to help Femmes de Demain make and distribute more coats - which cost €167 each - log on to the Manteau d'Avenir website here

Photo: Garry Knight

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