This 20-Year-Old Entrepreneur Invented a Shirt That Cleans Itself and It’s Blowing Our Minds
Doing laundry is probably one of the most grueling tasks for anyone whose busy all the time. Now, you can save trips to the laundromat with Silic, a shirt that repels all water. This works by making the shirt out of a hydrophobic fabric, which is created by bonding a nanotechnology to fibers on the microscopic level.
The shirt was created by 20-year-old serial entrepreneur Aamir Patel, who came up with the idea after he came across videos advertising sprayable products like NeverWet that repels water to anything you spray it on. He then decided to go to Home Depot to test the product out on his shirt. The experience he felt soon after was far from pleasant:
“The first time I sprayed it on a shirt, I was wearing it around and I felt really weird. I felt dizzy and I felt like I couldn’t breath. Then I look at the back of the bottle and it was just like ‘warning: this may cause severe health problems — and I just immediately took off the shirt and threw it in the trash. I was just like ‘this is not safe’, they should not be advertising it to be able to put on shirts and sweaters like they do in the videos. That’s where I started trying to figure out how we could make something that’s safe for all the consumers.”
When we asked Aamir Patel the main differences between his product and the sprayable solutions already available, this is what he had to say:
“…what’s different primarily about our product is that number one, the silica is bonded straight into the fabric so you can’t feel it — it feels like a normal shirt. Number two, you can wash it up to eighty times and quite frankly, you’re not going to have to wash it very often because water can’t bind to it, which means it’s naturally antibacterial because without water, bacteria can’t grow…”
Patel has been very enthusiastic about his product and recounts a time he wore a prototype to a bar:
“I went up to some random guy and I told him to just pour beer all over me and he looked at me like I was crazy, but he’s like ‘alright, if you’re asking me to do it, I’ll do it’. Then he dumps this beer all over me and says ‘dude, that is the end for all wet t-shirt contests’.”
Patel previously had two other projects on Kickstarter, one was iGoldCase, a 24K gold iPhone case and LUM apparel, a product that lets you draw on your shirt with light using any smartphone flash or LED. iGoldCase was a failure having not even come close to raising their target goal. He told us that the biggest lesson he learned from that experience was the need to invest in a good quality video. His second company LUM apparel turned into a hit raising more than double their target goal on Kickstarter. With the variety of crowdfunding sites that exist today, Patel explain why he chose Kickstarter specifically:
“First of all, I think [Kickstarter] has the cleanest web design and they offer the best experience for all the backers and I think that’s the most important thing. You don’t want to sell your product in a crappy shop because it ruins the experience of your own product and Kickstarter is a very well-known place. The community around Kickstarter is great, they’re a very techie community and you know — when I was young and I would try to explain my business ideas to people, they would have no idea what the hell I was talking about. I think people on Kickstarter are very like-minded individuals and they’re very supportive not only financially, but they offer ideas and it’s a great place to start if you want to get feedback. I know for my last project a lot of the backers were posting comments about things we would have never even thought of. A few of them even reached out to me and they said ‘you know what, let me help you get a patent on this’ or ‘hey, let me help you get a manufacturer that can do it for cheaper, and like ‘hey, let me give you some tips from my own project”. So, the great thing about Kickstarter more than the fact that it’s a place to get money, is that it’s an awesome community, so that’s probably why I chose them.”
Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.
Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.
However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.
We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community.
Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.