Power Pitch

Sportswear start-up 13-One wants to suit you up in material used by NASA

Key Points
  • 13-One makes jackets that use the same material used in spacesuits, and retail for at least $145.
  • Founder Hema Nambiar says the temperature resistant material can be used for "everyday use."
  • Next up: The pet market?
Sportswear start-up uses NASA technology
Sportswear start-up uses NASA technology

A new start-up is making jackets out of the material used in spacesuits.

The start-up, called 13-One, has jackets lined with a radiant barrier developed by NASA scientists to protect astronauts from extreme temperatures. The technology provides a light-weight, reflective insulation that's capable of retaining 90 percent of one's body heat.

"This is a technology that was used in space and is still being used in space," says Hema Nambiar, founder and CEO of 13-One. "Now it's for everyday use."


After discovering that no apparel company sold sportswear made with this material, Nambiar decided to design her own. Headquartered in Larchmont, New York, 13-One launched in June of 2016, and has sold more than 800 units so far, primarily through a Kickstarter campaign and on the company's website.

"I was inspired by this technology when I completed my first half-marathon and was wrapped in a heat sheet," says Nambiar, who named her company after the half-marathon distance of 13.1 miles.

The company's apparel is available in two unisex styles and one trench style for women. They retail on 13-One's website for between $145 and $175.


"Our jackets are also water repellent, packable, and they weigh less than one pound," Nambiar told CNBC. "Making them the perfect jacket for travelers and outdoor enthusiasts who like to travel light."

Nambiar also stated that while 13-One's target customers are 35 to 60 year olds, the jackets seem to appeal to a younger demographic as well.

"We're also seeing traction with one of our styles, the pullover half-zip, for high school kids and college kids who don't like to carry umbrellas," she added.


Nambiar said she is currently exploring opportunities to expand her business — including breaking into the pet market.

"A few of our customers asked, 'Well, we stay dry, why can't our little puppies stay dry as well?'" says Nambiar. "This is a game-changing fabric."

--Comments, questions, suggestions? We'd love to hear from you. Follow us @CNBCPowerPitch and join the #PowerPitch conversation