Have you ever thought how impractical our clothes are? Spill coffee on your shirt and you’ll ruin your early morning presentation. If you bicycle to work, take a clean shirt with you. And you’ll have to clean your dress shirt after wearing it once or twice. So how come we can wear Google glasses but still have to iron our shirts every day?
Well, things have begun to move in the right direction. Some young startups have taken the challenge to create a new generation of clothing.
Ministry of Supply (MOS)
Boston-based company Ministry of Supply liked the idea of riding a bicycle to work, but they didn’t like dealing with sweaty and wrinkled shirts. That’s why they created the Apollo, the first dress shirt that is wrinkled-free and temperature-regulating.
What features makes the Apollo so state-of-the-art?
By using phase-change materials, the Apollo acts like a battery–it absorbs heat from your body and stores it in the fabric. That means you can stay cool outside in the summer, and when you step back into your office you’ll be comfortably regulated in the AC.
The shirt’s unique blend of fibers keeps moisture away from your skin, and an anti-bacterial coating and silver threads will take care of odor. The Apollo was designed with your movements in mind, and thus is very comfortable to wear.
MOS launched their Apollo campaign on Kickstarter, and it was a huge success. They raised $429K, 1430% of their original target.
What about other MOS products?
Ministry of Supply is working hard to broaden their selection and launch new products. They have had another successful Kickstarter campaign for ATLAS socks, which control moisture and odor and are extremely comfortable.
Today you can shop on the MOS website for several temperature- and moisture-regulating dress shirts, odor-controlling sweatshirts, ventilated pants, and moisture-wicking odor-controlled t-shirts and socks. And the prices are quite acceptable: dress shirts go for $98-$108, pants for $118- $138, and socks for $18.
You have an early morning presentation. You’re drinking your morning coffee in a crowded elevator. Well, you already know what happens next–the growing brown coffee stain soaks your white shirt. The Evalino team from New Jersey has developed a way to prevent this scenario by designing a stain- and liquid-resistant dress shirt.
What technology do they use?
Evalino transforms the molecular structure of the fabric without changing its natural characteristics.
Evalino has created a high-quality cotton shirt and jeans, which are water and stain-resistant. Watch their video to see someone spill strawberry sauce all over themselves.
Besides water-repelling clothing, Evalino has designed a 100% pure Merino wool suite that can keep you cool even when you are outside on a hot afternoon. They use a special nanotech treatment that enables the dark wool fabric to reflect the sun’s rays, keeping you cool in all temperatures. What about the price? Suits will set you back $400, shirts $85, and jeans $130.
This startup has just launched its first Kickstarter campaign, attempting to raise $40,000. The campaign will finish on April 28, 2014, so hurry up if you are interested in backing these folks. They are brave enough to disrupt the fashion industry with new technology, so they’re worth your support.
Tired of cleaning and ironing your shirts after each wear? New York startup Wool&Prince hears you. They have designed a shirt that can be worn 100 days in a row–no washing, no dry cleaning, no wrinkles, no odor.
How is this possible?
The shirt is made from the finest wool shirting yarn. W&P spent six months developing what they call the “Cotton-Soft” wool fabric. Again, no space technology, only the right kind of wool.
Wool fabric is naturally anti-wrinkle and odor-fighting. W&P guarantees the cotton-like softness as well, and the W&P founder actually has been wearing this shirt 100 days straight.
W&P also used Kickstarter to raise money, and the idea was supported by the public–they raised $314K with an original target of $30K. Kickstarter shirt prices are one for $98, two for $190, or three for $280.
Future of wearable technology
You don’t have to be a visionary to see that the fashion and apparel industry is changing. In the era of smartphones and Google glasses, clothing needs to have more functionality than just covering the body. Not all new wearable technologies are here to stay, but we need to support all the brave newcomers.