Raj Shah, cofounder of Ably and cocreator of Filium technology, in a phone interview from India, explained the special attributes of the brand, which is in development for a late fall rollout.
Ably is activated by a proprietary technology called Filium and is purposed to be a clothing line for active people who need what the firm has trademarked as WhateverProof characteristics, from gear for an athlete, workwear or hospital scrubs to children’s clothing or a stylish shirt for a traveler who wants to pack less.
“I’ve been traveling to several countries over the last 14 days and I haven’t had to change my Ably shirt,” Shah said.
Shah explained that Filium is a patent-pending technology that allows natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, linen and silk to be able to become nonabsorbent, meaning liquids are repelled, making it stain and odor-resistant.
“There are obvious benefits for everyday apparel, but we think it’s especially applicable for clothes you wear to travel, activewear — we have run tests with professional athletes — and the medical field for areas such as chafing and skin irritations and conditions,” he said.
An added benefit is that clothing made with Filium needs less washing, which Shah noted is more convenient, since it also dries quicker, while saving time and water.
Shah created Ably, which is based in Seattle, with his brother Akhil, both of whom have been in the apparel industry for many years, focusing mostly on young men’s brands, along with design and creative expert Stanley Hainsworth.
While Ably will begin with basic T-shirts and sweatshirts, Shah said the plan is to license the technology to a range of categories.
The initial collection includes women’s and men’s T-shirts made from super fine premium cotton with Filium-activated technology to sell for $48 at retail, and Filium-activated cotton French terry sweatshirts at $125 retail. The line will be manufactured in India.
“We are creating a community of the early adopters that can tell the story of Filium technology in a grassroots manner,” he said. “The strategy is to build the Ably brand with basics then licenses with the right partners around the world with different categories.”
Ably has a Kickstarter campaign running that had an initial goal of raising $20,000 but has already raised more than $90,000 as of Wednesday. The campaign runs until July 4.
“We’re also talking to better specialty retailers with an aim of opening in 100 some doors with a late fall delivery,” Shah said. “We have commitments for soft launch, and as we go into the next year, we hope to expand the offering of Ably in spring and fall 2017.”