Factor Reviews: Apollo Dress Shirt from Ministry of Supply

Whenever a product claims to use technology that’s used by astronauts it provokes excitement but also a certain amount of trepidation. However, this dress shirt from the Ministry of Supply completely lives up to its claims and beyond – even if it is being worn for running.

After wearing the shirt for several days, and for more activities than it was designed for, it is one that can be thoroughly recommended.  The best way to describe it would be to compare it to a very high-end sports shirt that has been crafted into something you would want to wear to work, out for drinks, on a date, or all three in the same day.

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To infinity and beyond

The Apollo is the flagship of the company’s products and it says it has been made with NASA’s Phase Change Materials, which are meant to keep you at the correct temperature. It claims the shirt will absorb heat away from your skin when you’re too hot and give it back when you need it.

In the best possible way, while wearing this shirt I didn’t notice if I was too hot or too cold. This can only mean the shirt was doing its job in keeping the body at the right temperature.

When walking to and from destinations, the shirt appeared to keep me at a comfortable temperature and I didn’t ever feel too hot or cold when wearing it.

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Running

 To fully put the shirt through its paces it was worn over consecutive days while in the office, at an intimate theatre and also for exercise.

Despite the odd looks received from running around Central London in a dress shirt (and the bemused questions from those I share a house with) the shirt held up surprisingly well to the physical activity.

After a 30 minute, fairly intense run the shirt was almost completely dry. There was no noticeable change in body temperature at any point during the run – despite it being a warm day.

This out-performs many of the existing tops I own that are designed for sports.

The website’s claim certainly rings true: “Hydroblend fabrics incorporate a cotton/nylon blend to create the ultimate in moisture wicking functionality. Together, the fibers pull moisture quickly from your body and store it away from your skin.”

In the more mundane task of being worn in the office, at a desk all day, the shirt did exactly the job it need while not being out of place among those of colleagues.

The only criticism of daily wearing came through the density of the material. More than once the shirt allowed my nipples to be seen from the outside.

When worn during an evening at a London theatre the shirt didn’t stand out from others but blended in seamlessly. The collar remained ridged throughout the entire day and overall was very comfortable to wear.

By the end of the day the shirt didn’t give away the reality – that it had been on for more than 17 hours in one session.

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Overall

Compared to an average cotton shirt the one from the Ministry of Supply performed at a much higher standard when it came to cleaning and ironing.

After washing the shirt dried much faster than those made of traditional materials. It was ready to be worn the next morning – fewer than 12 hours after being flung into the washing machine

One of the biggest advantages was that ironing of the shirt was not required. Despite being washed as part of a large load the shirt only had one small crease and even after a full day’s wear, in various seating positions, it remained uncreased.

The shirt comes in with a fairly high price tag of $98 but the versatility of the product and it’s overall comfort means that if you can afford to get one, you should.

Factor’s verdict

factor-rating-55/5: Must-have purchase


Images courtesy of Ministry of Supply.

Matt tested the slim fit Apollo Dress Shirt in white, which is available to buy for $98 from Ministry of Supply.


3D Bioprinting set to be multi-billion dollar industry by 2030

The fledgling 3D bioprinting industry, which is currently at the early stages of creating replacement human tissue, has been predicted to be worth several billion dollars by 2030, according to a report out today.

3D bioprinting at present largely involves the creation of simple tissue structures in lab settings, but is likely to eventually be scaled up to involve the creation of complete organs for transplants.

The technology is also likely to be used for more accurate and speedy drug testing, as potential drug compounds could be tested on bioprinted tissue before human trials commenced. This approach would be more accurate than current animal studies, and could help to rule out ineffective or dangerous compounds earlier in the process.

The report, by industry advisory firm Research and Markets, looked at the current state of the 3D bioprinting industry, including both academic research and commercial start-ups, and identified how demand would grow for 3D bioprinting in the coming years.

Entitled ‘Global 3D Bioprinting Market, 2014-2030: Gain an Understanding of the Current and Future State of Bioprinters and Their Applications’, it suggests that research and development in academic settings is likely to dominate the industry until 2025, with commercial companies leading the way in the latter part of the next decade.

3d-print

Although most of the current research is in academic environments, with Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering among the leading research bodies, there are a number of start-ups that are making bioprinting waves.

TeVido BioDevices, for example, is developing breast tissue for use in reconstructive surgery following mastectomies. The company’s first product is designed to improve nipple reconstruction – an area of reconstructive breast surgery that currently leaves a lot to be desired.

The company’s technology utilises each patient’s own living cells to create tissue that the body will accept, and could eventually be used in mainstream cosmetic surgery to provide more natural results in breast augmentation.

One company that is making waves in bioprinting is Organovo, which is involved in the development of 3D bioprinted tissue models for research and drug development. The company has also partnered with The Methuselah Foundation, a non-profit focused on extending healthy life, to encourage the development of a 3D printed liver.

Other companies in the bioprinting market include SkinPrint, which is developing replacement skin for burns patients or those suffering from skin disorders, and Aspect Biosystems, which is developing printed tissue models for drug testing.

SkinPrint’s technology will radically improve skin grafts as it will remove the need for skin to be taken from other parts of the body.

Aspect Biosystems, however, will dramatically cut the cost and time it takes to develop and test drugs, potentially leading to cures for currently incurable diseases as well as cheaper treatment options.

There are also a number of companies developing and selling 3D bioprinters both for research and commercial use. The report identified 14 companies supplying printers to the industry, and this number is likely to increase as time goes on.


Video courtesy of Organovo.