As technology has changed the way we shop and the gifts that we’re able to give each other, there are myriad ways to make sure items are customized. A hardware tech company founded by a Johns Hopkins grad believes its smart tape measure can play a role in an intriguing new form of product personalization.
Bagel Labs founder and CEO Soohong Park is offering his PIE product, a smart tape measure that helps track body shape and size, as part of a Kickstarter campaign that offers made-to-measure jeans for contributors. It follows a Kickstarter campaign for the tape measure itself that raised $1.3 million after setting an initial goal of $30,000.
“This jeans idea was something that was never done before so that’s why we decided to start off with a Kickstarter campaign,” said Soo Park, Soohong’s partner and older brother as well as VP of Columbia technical consulting firm JastinTech. “We want to see if there’s enough market or interest.”
With its Jan. 25 deadline approaching, the campaign is more than halfway to its goal of $20,000. In a crowdfunding move we’ve seen become more common, Park said the campaign is essentially a pre-order sale since backers will receive the tailored jeans.
The campaign has a three-step process for contributor. They first receive a design kit, which includes the smart tape measure and two denim swatches. The kit also provides access to the PIE Fashion app.
Contributors must use the smart tape in order to take measurements for the jeans. Once self- measurement is complete, there will be a sample pattern delivered to try on and confirm the fit. The sample is made of fabric with a one-half inch grid, allowing for free adjustment and order modification through the app.
Once the measurements are finalized, users may choose between light or dark blue tones and may specify if they want a regular or slim straight style of jeans. Backers will also have the option of getting their name or initial hand-embroidered onto the jeans.
Most importantly for Park, the ordering process is 100% customized. That means no overstock. This makes the jeans an environmentally friendly product, he said.
“We’re trying to save the environment by stopping overproduction,” Park said. “A lot of clothing manufacturers tend to overproduce the products. That’s why if they don’t sell they end up in TJ Maxx or Burlington Coat Factory.”
PIE is using Kuroki denim fabric and YKK fastening products all made in Japan to create the jeans. Backers can pay a range from $99 to $5,355 to receive tailored jeans, though there is an option to pay a custom amount for loyal supporters. If this campaign provides enough positive feedback, PIE could look to applications outside of casual wear.
“We can expand from jeans into sports clothing,” Park said. “Soccer teams and basketball teams do measurements [for uniforms], so this could be one of those lines that could be done.”-30-
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