Emily Duffy, a 16-year-old from Limerick, Ireland invented a lightweight sleeping bag that improves the quality of life for the homeless. As she explains in this video, the idea came to her when she was doing a fundraiser for a homeless shelter.
In an interview with The Irish Times, she explained that she wanted to develop a sleeping bag that would solve some of the problems with existing cloth bags. Dubbed, “The Duffily Bag,” it utilizes inexpensive materials in some pretty impressive ways.
The Irish Times reports that “that Duffy replaced cloth, which becomes damp when it rains, with metallic bubble wrap. The material is lightweight, waterproof and the trapped air bubbles help increase warmth throughout bag. A fire resistant coating was added to the bubble wrap and waterproof metallic tape seals the seams. The exterior of the bag also boasts reflective strips that increase visibility at night. Velcro openings throughout the bag allow the user to quickly enter and leave the bag if necessary, and an added pouch meant to keep clothing dry turns into a pillow once filled.”
The badass teen showed her bag at the 2015 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition – a young scientist convention – and 12 months later ‘The Duffily Bag’ was being put to practical use on the streets of Dublin, according to TheJournal.ie.
Here’s something to make this story even cooler – The Mendicity Institute in Dublin 8, a charity that offers poverty relief, started a program which homeless people are paid 20 euros (roughly $22) for two hours of work to make the bags, offering them an opportunity to get off the streets. The bags are also being improved and altered based on comments from those in the homeless community.