ODO unveils cotton jeans and T-shirts that clean themselves
ODO, a San Francisco-based apparel company, has developed a line of self-cleaning T-shirts and denim jeans that "never stink or stain" (+ movie).
The ODO line, which was unveiled this month through a Kickstarter campaign, features denim jeans that come in a range of styles and a white cotton T-shirt.
The garments have two self-cleaning properties. Silver fibres woven into the cotton fabric help combat odours, and a coating on the surface of the fabric helps repel liquid.
ODO is the latest company to venture into the world of self-cleaning apparel. In 2013, a San Francisco entrepreneur named Aamir Patel unveiled a self-cleaning shirt and launched a crowd-funding campaign for the project.
In 2014, a team at Harvard announced that it had developed self-cleaning cotton and polyester fabrics, which utilise a technology it developed called SLIPS (slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces).
ODA said its clothing is different because it is infused with silver fibres that destroy smelly bacteria.
"ODO differentiates itself from other similar products by weaving silver into its fabric," said the company.
"Our patent-pending technology uses 99.9 per cent pure silver bonded polymer to permanently kill the odour-producing bacteria," it added.
The silver threads release an "infinite supply of positively charged silver ions," which in turn penetrate bacteria and disrupt the cell division according to the company.
"Silver ions prevent the bacteria from breeding and prevent the denim from smelling permanently for long periods of time," said ODO.
"Sweat is the leading cause of smell in our clothes," the company added. "Interestingly, sweat itself has no smell. It's the bacteria feeding on it that produces odour."
The ODO garments are also coated with a patent-pending material called NanoSphere, which is protein-based.
"It's completely different from the water repellent surfaces out there," said Salman Choudhry, a company co-founder.
"We have treated each individual yarn and made the surface irregular by bonding microscopic nano particles. These particles create a barrier between liquids and the denim," he said.
The coating repels not only water, but also substances such as oil, ketchup and dirt. Any residue can be rinsed off with water, said the company.
"The leaves of certain plants always stay clean, because dirt can't adhere to their finely structured surfaces and is easily washed off by rain," said ODO.
"We have transferred the same self-cleaning effect to odourless denim by means of our nanotechnology called NanoSphere," said the company.
By requiring little to no washing, the self-cleaning clothes help reduce water usage – a major concern in drought-plagued California.
Approximately 7,200 glasses of water are used to wash a pair of jeans in a single year, according to ODO.
"Not washing a pair of jeans for one year saves the equivalent of five years of drinking water for a human being," said the company, noting that the average human drinks 1,420 glasses of water annually.
"Conserving water doesn't necessarily mean changing your lifestyle, it means creating intelligent solutions," said the company.
The company launched a Kickstarter campaign on 7 December to raise money for the production of the clothing, with a fundraising goal of $10,000 (£6,750).
So far, supporters have pledged $91,000 (£61,500). The campaign ends on 30 January 2016.
Backers will receive ODO apparel, which starts at $99 (£67) for the jeans and $30 (£20) for the shirt.
ODO – which employs textile experts, IT engineers, designers and marketing professionals – came up with the idea for the self-cleaning clothes in 2014.
The company founders were inspired by comments made by Chip Bergh, CEO of denim brand Levis Strauss & Co, who suggested that jeans be washed less frequently to preserve the fabric and save water.
"He even went on to say that the pair he was wearing hadn't seen a washing machine in more than a year," said ODO. "The whole concept of washing jeans less to save water is brilliant but wearing a pair for a year without a single wash sounds disgusting."
"Like many people, I am so busy that I don't always have time to wash my jeans and clothes, but I like to stay clean and fresh," added Ansen Wen, ODO's chief technology officer. "This is how we got the idea for a self-cleaning fabric. Jeans and T-shirts are just the beginning."