How many washes do the anti-microbial effects lasts on scrubs?
All of our fabric combinations include four properties of advancement. Our anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties have been tested to last over 100 washes. Being an American company, our anti-microbial efficacy has to be tested since we use an EPA-registered ingredient. Two specific tests we have done are the AATCC 100 and AATCC 147 tests. In both tests, our success rate was 99 per cent in reducing certain bacteria. Our anti-microbial chemistry also does not leach out of the textile.
What are the challenges that this industry faces?
I think this industry is challenged by brand identity. More end users are smarter than ever, can voice their opinions and can shop from the comfort of their couch now. Slowly we are seeing a revolution in fabrics and styles that have not been seen in past years in this industry. This is due to end user education and sophistication that is driving all of us to keep up with demand. Even though it is a major challenge, it is what I love the most about this industry and my job. Disruption and forward thinking is key to elevating any industry.
What are the sustainable practices adopted at Life Threads?
LifeThreads is committed to manufacturing products that surpass the most stringent safety and environmental protection standards. All of our products are Oeko-Tex certified, which means that they support human ecology through bio-compatibility and the absence of harmful substances in their processes.
How are you improving effectiveness, comfort and efficiency in your product offerings?
At LifeThreads, our continued effort to improve comes through the voices of our end users - from our brand ambassadors, which we sign up on a quarterly basis, to our retail partners in the eight countries we are in, or our domestic retail partnerships. We feel this is the best way to improve. The feedback we get on our technology, fabrications, and even to our packaging, is always in a constant review to make sure we are delivering the best.
Which innovative technologies have been incorporated in LifeThreads' scrubs?
There are four areas of technology incorporated in every unit of LifeThreads. All of our items are anti-microbial, anti-fungal, include odour control with a very breathable and effective fluid barrier.
Please share details of the last two fiscal years and your expectations for the next two years.
As a private company, we do not share this data. However, our year-over-year growth was just over 190 per cent, and we are tracking this and hope to exceed this growth again for 2018. My expectations over the next two years are to continue this growth as we expand into different markets and geographic regions.
What is the annual budget allocated towards R&D? How big is the team?
One of the great things we have done at LifeThreads is keeping our team tight and lean to control costs. Where we have looked for R&D, we have vetted and outsourced to some of the most respected companies and people in our industry when it comes to fabric and technology innovation all around the world. This has given us the opportunity as a young company to collaborate from many independent sides to come to one team effort result. Our technology has been the same since day one, which helps on the chemistry side, while we are constantly trying new fabrics out for fit, feel and fashion. The annual budget has increased every year as we continue to gain sales year over year with about 10 per cent of our budget going to that.
What are your future plans?
My biggest hurdle every day is 'why should they care?'. The top future plan for LifeThreads is to gain worldwide acceptance of anti-microbial technology and making potential customers aware of what they are wearing professionally. Our customers care about themselves with beauty and health products, certain foods and quality of life. We need to educate them more on the benefits of our technology. That is why we plan to invest heavily in marketing and end-user retention. I am very proud of the grass root marketing we have done in the past three years, but with the recent successes we have had in 2017 and in early 2018, it is time to really blast off and grow this brand to an acceptable level for our team and investors. (HO)
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