2XU co-founder Jamie Hunt has revealed his new venture: antiviral lifestyle clothing.
Hunt's brand Aviro has teamed up with Swiss textiles technology company HeiQ to launch the first lifestyle clothing range designed to minimise the transmission of pathogens on fabric, including COVID-19 and influenza.
The range includes t-shirts, polo shirts and reusable face masks all treated with the antiviral technology.
The HeiQ technology is one of the first in the world to prove effective against COVID-19, with test results indicating a 99.% reduction of the COVID-19 causing virus.
The technology has been tested against a range of bacteria and viruses and uses a unique combination of silver and vesicle technologies to destroy the membrane of viruses that it comes into contact with.
Speaking on the venture, Hunt said that with more time to think and a daughter in nursing school helped spark the idea.
"When COVID-19 hit I had plenty of time to think about how I could use my experience to help.
"At the same time my daughter, who is in her last year of nursing school, went to work as a healthcare assistant during lockdown.
"She was working in a rest home where there had been a confirmed case of COVID-19.
"At the end of a long day she would come home through the back door of the house, put her clothes straight into the wash and then get in the shower, before anything else.
"It made me think about how bacteria and viruses can travel on clothing and I realised as part of the ‘new normal’ there was also a need for everyday garments that could help reduce this risk," he said.
Pulling on his existing relationship with HeiQ and other technical partners, Hunt began to research which fibres and weaves would work most effectively for the technology to adhere to.
The clothes are undergoing further testing to further validate the technology as a leader in the space.
Aviro clothing ranges in price from $60 NZD (for two reusable masks) to $85 NZD for the short sleeve polo.