It was late 2015 when Pravin and Shruti were facing a classic business problem. These were early days when Athlos was pretty much a scrappy experiment. They had planned for an inventory of bamboo tees for 6 months, or so they thought. The inventory got sold out within 2 months, and this meant Athlos wanted to be taken seriously. This meant establishing branding, stocking more inventory, and going all in to build Athlos. Soon enough, Shruti quit her full-time job in advertising and came onboard full-time at Athlos. It started evolving from from being a scrappy experiment and as the years built up, Shruti laid the foundation for Athlos branding, design, and communications, while Pravin worked on operations, business, and exploring new fabrics with fabric mills.
Athlos was set out with aim to scratch our own itch. Back in 2013, on travel sabbatical with lots of hiking, backpacking, and being outdoors, Pravin observed that most of his athletic clothing was pretty uncomfortable.
The fabrics felt synthetic, scratchy, and not suitable for long hours of activity. And thus came the idea for Athlos. An activewear brand with focus on innovating sustainable fabrics that perform and stay comfy over long hours.
And what started with a single bamboo fabric in 2015, we now have a product line built with over 6 fabrics including likes of Merino, Recycled Ocean waste, and Eucalyptus.
While both of us were naive to not know what Athlos would mean in long term, we intuitively knew what it was not. And we kept building Athlos with this intuition. The initial couple years involved just the two of us working out of Shruti's apartment and laying the foundation for what Athlos should be.
Starting things from scratch presented to us a chance to do things differently. Trying to establish an identity when there are so many things vying for attention was a challenge, but it was also an opportunity to do things our way, the Athlos way.
And the Athlos community began to grow, slowly albeit steadily. As the inventory and cardboard boxes beginning to overflow in Shruti's apartment it was time to get an office, a legit office. And in 2017, a 2 bedroom apartment in an old building in suburb of Mulund became the new office. A lot has changed, multiplied rather: the customers, the packages shipped everyday, and the people behind Athlos. The team has grown from two naive souls writing handwritten notes to our users to a 7+ strong team keeping the business alive. And yet, what has stayed constant is the support and community of our users. They are still actively involved with us, sharing feedback and helping us better our products. It's this dynamic with our users has helped us build a few key products along the way: namely our 4 pocket running shorts, the period underwear, and a Merino wool base layer that works even in the tropics.
In the current pandemic, saying that things have been "less than ideal" would be an understatement. And it has changed us all a lot, be it as individuals or businesses. As a team, it has strengthened our belief that products need to be functional. And going ahead, functionality will continue to be at core of the Athlos experience. Building products that you can use for multiple activities, that let you do more with less we'll push ourselves to keep building them.
We want to minimise our environmental impact and have been a work in progress. We always skipped plastic, and since June 2020, we started shipping our orders minus extra tags, invoices, and content that often ends up in trash.