North Korea releases edible clothing to 'avoid starvation'

A North Korean men's fashion catalogue.
Photo credit: Alek Sigley

North Korea's government has launched a line of edible clothing.

A men's fashion catalogue released by the country's Clothing Research Centre (a division of the Ministry of Provincial Industry) shows a range of button-up formal shirts.

When translated, the accompanying text reveals the smart clothing isn't just a feast for the eyes, but could also, in a pinch, work as a literal feast.

The "artificial flannelette fabrics" are composed of edible materials including high-grade protein, amino acids, fruit juice, magnesium, iron and calcium.

"Clothing worn by people engaged in sailing, outdoor exploration, and mountain climbing can be eaten to avoid starvation in the event that food has run out," the text explains.

Why anyone would wear a dress shirt to climb a mountain remains a mystery.

Edible clothing isn't the only unusual garment the catalogue has to offer. Also available are shirts with "intelligent sleeves" that allegedly monitor the health of the wearer.

For those who want to feel warm (North Korean winters are notoriously bitter) yet cold at the same time, the coats that circulate a cooling liquid through the garment might be of interest.

North Korea releases edible clothing to 'avoid starvation'
Photo credit: Alek Sigley

Some of the clothing is designed to dissolve in water, which would make doing laundry a touch difficult.

The catalogue was photographed by Alek Sigley, an expert on the reclusive world of North Korea. 

It was printed in 2018, and is one of a series of regularly published inventories of state-sanctioned fashion.

The catalogue includes a quote from the late Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il: "Men also ought to go about wearing varied clothing in several styles."