The story of the odor free gym tee
Whilst it is not uncommon to be inundated with social media updates, boasting about the latest baby gurgle, dog walk, bowl of oats decorated with blueberries or business success; what is much less common if for our network to share with us the true human struggle that goes on behind the scenes. To admit to being a normal human, capable of failure or even just human at all seems something of a taboo. Nowhere is this more evident than the horribly designed professional social network LinkedIn, populated by “Suit Wearing Trolls” according to some (read more). The truth is that, sink or swim, we love a good story of the quest for that illusive grail and so a group of young kick starters opened their doors to share their journey.
Ryan (25), Steven (24), and Trevor (23), a group of kickstarters from America’s Bay Area with over 13 years combined experience in the fitness industry, created and launched a crowd funding campaign for Buffer, an odor free gym tee. Unlike most businesses that carefully manage their communications to spin a tale of perpetual growth and success, the Buffer team publish a regular vlog Success or Bust (view), sharing their working challenges, new ideas and ventures on a daily basis. This sacrifice of corporate perception resulted in something that felt closer and more connected to its backers.
The oder-free gym shirt concept
The idea itself came about though a combination of separate ventures into both the fitness industry and in the travel apparel industry. They decided to combine their expertise in fitness and clothing to make the most functional fitness tee by utilizing the most advanced clothing technologies.The Problem Big active-wear brands offer a ridiculous amount of options, which all have the same problem. They stink. Literally. After a long workout, pickup game, or run, the shirts smell terrible. Even after multiple washes, these oders can remain for the lifetime of the garment.
Buffer’s solution used copper nanoparticles that are permanently bonded to nylon/spandex fabric through electroplating, which causes the fabric to be 99% antimicrobial. Copper attacks microbes in a three step process. Firstly the combination of moisture and air causes the shirt to release copper ions. These copper ions cause the bacteria’s membrane to rupture causing it to weaken and thereby thwarting the ability for the bacteria to mutate and reproduce, thus leaving the shirt 99% microbe-free.
In addition the Buffer shirt is quick drying/moisture wicking and designed to stretch in four ways with flatlock seams for a more comfortable, cafe-free fit.
If at first you don’t succeed
Sadly the kickstarter campaign was unsuccessful, ending on May 27th having achieved $11,539, only 68% of its total $17,000 target. Towards the end of the campaign the entrepreneurs shared some of what they had learned, in particular the importance of product positioning and differentiation and are currently exploring new ideas within the fitness industry.