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A Boon For The Disheveled: Shirts That Don’t Wrinkle Or Stink


A Kickstarter success story making the rounds of the Internet this week caused us to perk up our ears here at Via Meadia. A Brooklyn-based company called Wool & Prince has developed a dress shirt that doesn’t require ironing and can be worn for extended periods of time without it starting to stink. Fascinating:

With the help of 15 testers, the three young entrepreneurs developed their proprietary CottonSoft(TM) wool fabric that was light, breathable, durable and best of all soft. It was the perfect material they’d been searching for, but Mac wasn’t going to brag about its properties until he had the chance to test it out on himself. So he embarked on a 100-day challenge and wore the same magic wool shirt for 100 days straight, without washing or ironing it.

So how did the shirt perform during this period of grueling tests? ”The shirt stood up to everything I threw at it – whether it was a five mile (8km) run or 72 straight hours of wear during Hurricane Sandy,” Mr Bishop wrote on his website. ”Each day I attempted to wrinkle and odorise the shirt, but to no avail. In a couple of the more intense tests, such as the five mile runs, I was worried that the shirt wouldn’t revive itself. The entire shirt was damp with sweat and soaked in the pits, chest, and collar. I hung it up overnight, said a little prayer, and woke to a fresh shirt in the morning. I’m dead serious.”

We’ll have to verify this marketing pitch before we sign on for this new development—preferably getting some additional input from the founders’ girlfriends or mothers—but color us intrigued. Indeed, a VM staffer already swears by the wrinkle-free merino wool sportswear that the New Zealand company Icebreaker is selling, though he claims that he washes his clothes once a week whether they need it or not. Our own experiences with sheep, limited as these are, suggest that wool in its natural habitat is anything but smell-free.

The importance of this story is only partly about clothing. It’s also a perfect illustration of one of the big transformations of our time: Innovation is accelerating at a breakneck pace as scientific research increases our ability to make and understand new basic materials. The spread of market economies and entrepreneurial freedom is opening the door to innovation in many more places around the world. The spread of education is increasing the number of people worldwide able to understand and use the fruits of scientific research. And the capitalist system continues to develop new ways to fund new ideas.

The Kickstarter campaign has already exceeded its original goal of $30,000 tenfold and the first batch of shirts has sold out. Unfortunately for us, we were not among the early adopters, but we’ll certainly be on the lookout for if and when Wool & Prince take their miracle shirts mainstream. If you see any of us walking around looking like our shirts are particularly wrinkle-free in the next year or so, you’ll know they’ve succeeded.

[Raw materials for stink-free shirts, photo courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • Luke Lea

    one of the big transformations of our time: Innovation is accelerating at a breakneck pace . . .

    Hard to put a metric on it (that’s nerd speak for impossible to measure) but I’d say innovation has been going on at this pace for a while now — like since the invention of the steam engine maybe. Future shock is nothing new.

  • ddh

    The Man in the White Suit, a 1951 Alec Guiness comedy, dealt with the consequences of a similar product. Creative destruction, indeed.

  • Corlyss Drinkard

    Love the photo of the sheep. I love sheep and goats. Spent a treasurable weekend with a pair of goats rescued from a research facility. They followed me around like two big dogs.

    Sometime in the past WRM referred to “sheeple” and I had to look that one up. I can’t think of a more perfect representative photo. The startled inquisitive “Huh?” look is simply delightful.

  • Jim Luebke

    Could they have developed an antibacterial version of lanolin? It’s not entirely implausible, anyway.

  • vepxistqaosani

    Does no one here remember The Man in the White Suit? (

    • Alexander Scipio

      I was about to post that we’ve already seen this movie but was checking to see if someone had beaten me to it. Good work.

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