Sim Gulati and Brad Feinstein, founders of Dropel Fabrics, a new hydrophobic cotton textile supplier, have created a water and stain-resistant fabric that they hope will create demand on the selling floor. Called Dropel Enhanced, it offers proprietary hydrophobic technology fused with cotton fibers that breathe. The cotton includes invisible Nanotechnology.
“Cotton hasn’t really evolved and I thought ‘How cool would it be if I could wear the garments I love to wear but they have the functionality of synthetic fiber?’” said Gulati.
Gulati also believes his manufacturing background — his family owns factories in India and he founded The Gulati Group, an apparel manufacturing company and textile supplier — gives him a leg up.
“We have the sourcing and infrastructure to integrate with retailers. Many of our competitors have come to me for production. They can’t produce the volumes needed to work with major retailers,” he said.
They are hoping that retailers and brands will look to them to produce Dropel Enhanced garments, but on top of that, they’ve introduced Kelby and Co., a new men’s wear brand that’s made with Dropel textiles.
The line will be sold on Kelby and Co.’s e-commerce site, which goes live this week, and features an oxford shirt, a gingham shirt, a chambray shirt, a French terry bomber jacket, and two Pima cotton T-shirts, one V-neck and one crew neck. Shirts retail from $80 to $98, the bomber jacket sells for $145 and the Pima cotton T-shirts are $55.
“Instead of waiting for a brand to adopt this, we said we will do it ourselves,” said Feinstein.
The textile supplier, which is a part of The New York Fashion Tech Lab accelerator program, is currently piloting its fabric with a men’s wear brand, a children’s wear line, and a home furnishings brand.
Dropel, which is kicking off a seed round of investing this month, is also working on developing a textile with a hydrophobic exterior and moisture-wicking interior.