Shruti Kamath Of Athlos Weaves Her Gym Wear With Bamboo And Eucalyptus. Curious?
- IWB Post
- September 10, 2017
What is that one thing that we talk about pretty seriously but back out the second it comes to implementing it? Our fitness, obviously! Trying to remain fit is no easy feat, my friend. Because the active wear made of synthetic fabrics adds a ton of excuses to our lazy status on social media.
Thank God, we have Athlos!
Piqued your curiosity, didn’t I? Well, let’s start with “Who is Athlos?” Founded in March 2015, Athlos was started with the aim to improve the landscape of athletic apparel one piece at a time. They wanted to provide an alternative to shiny active wear which serves as breeding ground for bacterias.
Driven by thoughtful design and inspiring an active lifestyle, it was the brainchild of Pravin Dhake and co-founded by Shruti Kamath, who is also the creative director of this label. They left me with no excuse, apart from my own persistent laziness to blame for my unfit body. Wanting to know the ‘Who,’ ‘What’, and ‘Why’ I called Shruti and here are the excerpts from the ‘active’ chat.
What was it that inspired you to make active wear that was comfortable on the skin, yet stylish?
I met Pravin at a party 2 years ago. And at that time I was doing my own garment line and was an art director at an advertising firm. In the discussion that followed, Pravin told me about his startup, Athlos. That got me very interested as my own love for sports and garments came together here and felt like it was a perfect playground for me to do both.
If you look at the active wear in the market, they are just seeking attention, they have loud and flashy colors. The aim was to make an apparel, in which you continuously sweat as comfortable as possible.
What sets Athlos apart from other active wear brands?
We do a lot of fabric innovations; and when we think of activewear, the first thing we make sure of is the comfort factor, whether the user is in a gym, running or doing yoga. We use Silver in our fabrics which makes it Antibacterial and Anti-odor. This means you can continue to wear the tee even after the workout. It enables repeated usage.
We have also done fabric innovations with bamboo in t-shirts for men and women, and we have also made apparels out of eucalyptus fabric. When it comes to colors, we have an understated tone that suits most people style choice. We also take real time feedback from our customers, giving their opinions priority.
How important is staying active to you?
Most of us today have a sedentary lifestyle, it is very important that I break a sweat at least once in two days owing to my busy schedule. I have allotted a certain time where I turn off my phone, receive no calls, check no emails, in fact, I try and not carry a phone at all at such times. I really ensure that I devote that time completely to my fitness. Everything else can wait.
Any fresh ideas that you introduced to your fitness schedule?
Not much of an innovation but I noticed my upper body strength (my shoulder area) was quite weak. I started focusing on that and asked my Yoga teacher to teach me exercises related to it. It has made me feel stronger when it comes to my runs and also paid off as being helpful while I spend hours sitting straight and holding a mouse and designing.
What is your fitness diet?
All I do is avoid junk food, and anything homemade and fresh is my game. It is the junk food that gives you more calories than you can lose. Homemade food is the most natural source of energy.
So, any new innovations in line?
We are working on making athletic undergarments for both men and women. We have been researching into the fabric that would be the best choice for it. And we are close to nailing it. Just waiting for some test results. I think it is going to be a very smart product, considering the fact that undergarments stay the closest to your body and comfort in that region is of utmost necessity.
Where do you resource your fabric from?
So our fabric comes from Tamil Nadu and our yarn comes from China. We use a lot of plant based fabric in the first place, like I mentioned Bamboo and eucalyptus, so the source itself is organic.
We also use recycled material for the packaging process – our shipments go out in recycled carton boxes
What obstacles and challenges do fitness brands face in the market?
The main problem is that startups find it very hard to resource research and development services. Things can get tricky when you stand in competition with bigger brands. Building trust for your brand is a tough task. What we did is that we had recognized people who were fed up with the synthetic products and wanted to make a switch.
Why does GoAthlos have only an online presence? Are you planning to expand to a physical store in the future?
We found online platforms to be more feasible as we could have a more personal connection and feedback from our customers in the small span of time. Rather than getting diluted on an e-commerce platform, or in shops, where one is relegated to being just another color option, we find our own website to be easier.
We do love the idea of the physical store, maybe we will get there in 2018.
How do you embrace body positivity through your label?
Well, when it comes to sizes we provide, we have 6 sizes starting from small to XXL, but sometimes if the customer wants we are ready to customize. Like once this user wanted really large size shirts and we happily made a custom batch for him. Whenever people get in touch with us and if we can help in any way, we definitely do.
How should one handle body shaming culture in the gym?
It can really get quite stressful, but when comes to actually focussing on your health, keep in mind that you are doing it for yourself and believe in your efforts. Someone will always be fitter, slimmer than you, comparing yourself to them will get you nowhere. All the other things then become redundant.
What has been your biggest fitness adventure till date?
10 days of hiking solo in the mountains and reaching the base camp all by myself. That was one tough and at the same time a very satisfying adventure I am really glad I had taken.
Any words of wisdom for budding entrepreneurs?
As an entrepreneur, I would advise them that be attached to the process, not to the final result. It helps you keep going.