A fabric technology company that makes clothes to solve everyday problems. This is how Paire’s co-founder, Nathan Yun, describes the Melbourne-based business he started with Rex Zhang in 2021.

The duo are long-time friends. Zhang grew up in a family embedded in fabric manufacturing, while Yun has applied his marketing skills and creative background to the startup.

“We talk a lot about what issues people face with their clothes and accessories. Skin sensitivity or irritation and sweat are common complaints, but lightweight and travel-friendly items are in demand too,” Yun says. “That’s where our product development starts.”

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The growing brand has a devoted following for its socks, underwear, towels and now T-shirts. If you’re yet to be acquainted with it, and you’ve spent the last few months trying to hide your sweat marks, Yun believes Paire has the solution.

Most T-shirts on the market are made from cotton or, if you’re looking for activewear, polyester. “The problem with cotton T-shirts is they soak up your sweat quite a lot,” Yun says. “But polyester isn’t breathable at all. Even though it dries fast, it actually makes you hotter because it’s essentially made from plastic, which is not sustainable either.”

Paire’s Supreme Breezeblend fabric is a wool and tencel mix with a mid-weight, soft handfeel. “We re-engineered wool and eucalyptus fibres to be blended into one thread at a micro level,” Yun says. A semi-synthetic material, tencel is made from sustainably-sourced wood pulp. It's soft to touch, holds colour well and, like wool, can help aid temperature regulation.

The Classic Tee, a unisex cut, is offered in an XXS to XL size run. It currently comes in five colours: black, shadow (a dark grey), sky blue, snow white and pistachio green.

For Yun, multi-day hikes have proved the best testing grounds for many of Paire’s products. “Merino wool is antibacterial and actually repels oil. So our T-shirts and socks smell less than regular cotton styles. This means you also don’t need to wash them as often – I’ll use them two or three days in a row and just air them out between wears,” he says.

A self-confessed sweaty person (the medical term is axillary hyperhidrosis) I was keen to put these “sweat-free” T-shirts to the test. Two tees in sky blue and pistachio green arrived on a 30-degree day. These are colours I would normally avoid with my entire being for fear of what light tones might reveal under my arms. But I had to trust the process.

I wore them for a lunchtime walk, slept in them on humid nights and worked from home in a non-air-conditioned environment. While they didn’t exactly stop me sweating, there were no obvious signs of sweat on show. I put this down to the breathable nature of the fabric, as well as the quick-dry properties that both wool and tencel boast.

These T-shirts aren’t just solving sweat issues, they’re also tackling one of the fashion industry’s biggest problems: sustainability. By using Australian materials, as well as recycled and biodegradable packaging, Paire is constantly looking for ways to protect the planet across its manufacturing processes and supply chain.

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