Introducing Athlos Activewear

What we do:

At Athlos we are building innovative and sustainable activewear that keeps you cozy over long hours of the activity you love.

We are a small team with a shared love for being active, exploring the outdoors, and appreciation of good design. Most activewear out there isn’t comfortable over long hours of use, more so, for tropical subcontinent conditions. We are bridging the gap by innovating on sustainable fabrics, backing our user empathy, and designing with long hours of usage in mind.

We occasionally write about our varied interests in our journal: THE JOURNAL – Athlos Activewear

You can follow us on our IG channel at: Athlos (@goathlos) • Instagram photos and videos

Whom are we building Athlos for?

Kiran, an urban/rural sophisticate leading an active lifestyle. Kiran loves nature and the outdoors, appreciates sustainability, and has an assertive sense of style.

What pain do they have that we’re solving for them?

Kiran loves being active 3-5 times a week. They enjoy training across different functions be it strength, running, or hiking. Kiran’s lifestyle often demands multi-functional apparel that seamlessly feels designed and built for all their activities. Kiran struggles to find such apparel readily and has to look for it on overseas trips.

How does Athlos solve the problem?

Athlos brings in a unique blend of cross-functionality, sustainable fabrics, and an assertive aesthetic along the lines of what Kiran is looking for.

  • The fabrics are comfy, cozy, and handle the demands of their athletic pursuit.

    • They feel assured that the activewear from Athlos will withstand them pushing the levels of their activity and yet keep them distraction-free.

    • As they pursue a blend of activities, Athlos activewear also brings in the element of being multi-functional. This reduces their load of adding different activewear for their different use cases.

    • Given their busy lifestyle, the transition from their activity is often through their daily life. The clean, minimal design and the features such as anti-odour of Athlos activewear makes transitioning in and out of activities a breeze.

Sustainability at our core. We understand that we are in one of the top polluting industries in the world. For us, Sustainability is primarily a team ethic as opposed to just a marketing term. We like to back ourselves to deliver on a sustainable low impact supply chain across our products and operations.

  • A primary constraint enforced for our product development is to use only recycled or natural fabrics primarily. Gaps do exist in 10% of our product line (Supima-Polyester blend where we have to use virgin Polyester) where the technology hasn’t advanced yet to move the blend to recycled polyester.
  • Our packaging boxes don’t include any marketing tags, branding elements, or any extra stuff that often ends up straight in trash.
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Hey @pravin_dhake Thank you for sharing this. Please allow us a few days to get back to you over email.

++ @Dilip.Kumar

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Thanks @Sagar_Gudekote

Hi @pravin_dhake I’ve seen your ads on Instagram and see some runner folks there.
I’m one :slight_smile: Maybe i’ll order some of your running products to experience it first hand.

The Athletic wear category is very competitive. And i see your prices are premium at par to a Nike, UA , Puma, Reebok likes. Is that your competition?

Hi @Dilip.Kumar , yes they are definitely a set of brands we compete with. As an early-stage brand, we started with an aspirational segment (pricing/design/features), as there are a good number of early adopters in that segment. As we scale ahead, we are better geared for multiplying our target market, as our current niche allows us to expand product lines above and below the current baseline prices, without diluting the soul of the brand.

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Hi @Dilip.Kumar and @Sagar_Gudekote , reaching out to check if you wanted to know more about us. Also, I forgot to add earlier, if you are planning to try our running products, try the Distance running shorts and zero tee. They receive a lot of love from our runner users.

Hi @pravin_dhake Surely, gonna try them.

What areas do you think Rainmatter can be of help to you?

Hi @Dilip.Kumar , we believe community and customer experience will be the core for the long-term growth of the brand Athlos. This is where Rainmatter will be helpful to us in understanding and scaling our community and customer experience efforts better.

Ok. Could you be specific so that we can find ways to be of help :slight_smile:
I couldn’t understand your ask.

Fair enough :). Actually, there are certain aspects where the Rainmetter-Zerodha experience overlap in your team could be helpful, please pardon if this assumption is wrong. For example: there is a strong sense of community among zerodha users, which could be an output of various community-building efforts that have been undertaken over the years. If we end up getting into a portfolio investment relationship, we’d love to get access to mentorship or guidance in that respect.

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If I’d give a short answer to this, which might seem like blowing my own trumpet :grimacing:. Building a brand in today’s world takes tons of effort, and it is even more challenging in commoditized products like, say, what you are making. With Zerodha, we got lucky to be around the scene before everyone else. Then we have continuously prioritized what is right for the customer over everything else for the last 13 years. So the community love you see has taken time. Of course, everything else we have done wouldn’t have mattered if the product wasn’t superior to the competition. And building a trading platform that scales is a complex technological problem. This is why I was saying that it is harder to build a brand where competition can catch up on you quickly. If too many people offer similar products simultaneously, it is hard to build a community or a business.

I am a big fan of Lululemon, and I have been thinking about why can’t India have a brand like this. To match the quality and spend enough to build a brand perception of quality, you need to be able to price it at what they are priced at. Hard in India, at least today.

If you have any queries from the Zerodha team, post them on the forum and tag me. We will make sure to answer (I will loop in relevant folks). It will probably be helpful to others who are building as well.

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@pravin_dhake I own two Athlos wear t-shirts and I’m a fan. I really like the quality and feel of your products. But the only issue is the size…usually L or XL across brands fits me. So I ordered XL in Athlos as well, only to return and get the XXXL ( :sob:).

Is this a common issue/complaint with your other customers? If yes, why?

By the way, this cycle of delivery - return - delivery kind of negates your low carbon supply chain efforts :slight_smile:

Hey @NithinKamath , thanks. Yes, we agree that brand building overall is hard. More so from our understanding of building in this space over the last 8 years. As for the Lululemon example, they also hit the chord of global scale in the second half of their 25-year journey till now. And mostly, it is an output of their community/customer experience dots connecting later, backed by a strong product. India is still a nascent market, and it will still need brands to establish enough presence over some time (and hopefully survive :slight_smile: ) to be able to build a unique global brand coming out of India.

Thanks for the offer of help, we will take up the offer and tag you with a question of specific intent.

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Hey @karthikrangappa, yes, we are still figuring out scaling our product across different body types and maintaining the sanity of our size charts. Some of the fabrics we work with perform best when they are closest to the body, however as our user base and the variation of body types increase we are adapting our sizing strategy accordingly. In terms of industry numbers, we are still in single digits percentage in terms of exchange/returns combined, however for the long term it’s definitely on our priority list of challenges to fix.
Sustainability and low-carbon supply chain efforts will be a continuous journey in the physical product industry (as opposed to a 0 to 1). We don’t have all the answers yet, however, we believe that having it ingrained as a team ethic will keep us on the right side of low carbon supply.

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