In these staggeringly hot and record-breaking dog days of summer, workers everywhere are stuck in uncomfortable, sweat-drenched work shirts.
But a group of entrepreneurs out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are hoping materials used for space travel can reinvent the dress shirt. Boston-based company Ministry of Supply is tapping phase change materials used in NASA spacesuits to create a dress shirt named the "Apollo" that will adapt to its wearer and the environment.
"Phase Change Materials are often used in science and engineering to keep things at a more constant temperature," said Kevin Rustagi, one of Ministry Of Supply's four founders, in an email to The Huffington Post. "We got the inspiration to use them from a founding team member who worked in an MIT lab working on spacesuits for manned spaceflight."
The shirts are made using knit synthetic blends, as opposed to woven cotton, better to harness and store heat for later use. The fabric also fights off moisture, offers built-in odor control and features flexible, wrinkle-free materials.
The Apollo is the latest example of innovative fashion design focusing on convenience for the clothing consumer. New Zealand-based Icebreaker created the $65 Tech-T that used sheep's wool that becomes thinner during a hot summer and thicker during a cold winter to create a special fabric.
Ministry of Supply created a Kickstarter campaign with hopes of raising $30,000 to put the Apollo into production. With five days left to raise funds, the company has far exceeded that goal, with $260,000 raised. Surpassing $291,494 would make the Apollo the highest-funded fashion project in Kickstarter history.
Less traditional materials can offer interesting new advantages, but they also come with a heftier price tag -- the Apollo is likely to retail for $129.