NewBreath Clothing is the creation of Mike Werner, Trey Washington and Caleb McGuire
Three Clark County entrepreneurs have combined together to form a new business they hope will revolutionize the casual and activewear clothing industry.
Mike Werner had an idea last year, one that was born from a complaint made by one of his friends about frustrations with wearing a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic. Werner shared that idea with friend Trey Washington, who shared it with his friend Caleb McGuire. The trio of Clark County residents hope, as is often said, the rest will be history.
“Trey has been a friend of the Werner family for some time and Trey has also been a friend of my family for a long time so it was a matter of Trey bringing us all together,’’ McGuire said. “We started talking one day and Mike said ‘I have this idea. A buddy of mine is tired of wearing a mask.’ That’s literally how it started.’’
The three shared their idea with others, who helped them gain a focus for their clothing line.
“Mike had the idea,’’ Washington said. “Once we made the idea something tangible and could see that it was something we could do, that was the birth of the child and it just grew from there.’’
Specifically, the idea was for an alternative to disposable face masks, using the latest in tech fabrications to incorporate face masks into the designs. The line began as a way of providing a functional alternative to cumbersome and wastefully disposable face masks for first responders and all essential workers who still had to work despite quarantines as well as allowing everyone to safely and responsibly come together as a community.
Combining their individual fields of business expertise, the three principals fast tracked the New Breath clothing brand for a 2021 launch. Looking ahead past lockdowns, the group realized the need for facemasks was here to stay and proceeded to develop a functional and stylish line that met the needs of the new normal.
Werner has been a successful businessman with interests in trucking and residential real estate. Washington has worked most of his career running restaurants and bars and McGuire has a variety of business experience including in the tech industry.
The three discussed Werner’s idea for a shirt that already had a built-in, comfortable and breathable face mask to eliminate the inconveniences of forgetting to bring one, losing them, and even the now-growing problem of the accumulating litter of disposable masks, which end up as non-biodegradable waste.
The three then enlisted Courtney Dickens as creative director and that led to their conceiving NewBreath, forming the brand out of their shared entrepreneurial drive and the determination to make a difference for people in the frontlines as well as everyone else who is gradually emerging into the new normal.
The process has taken almost a year to launch.
“From planning and development to production, it took us nearly 10 months to get everything ready,’’ Washington said. “Things would have gone faster honestly if it weren’t for the matter of how manufacturing facilities were re-opening, then closing, then re-opening again in accordance to regulations.’’
The trio of men had to overcome the fact that none of them had much experience in fashion.
“The main challenge for us specifically was we were novices in the fashion industry,’’ McGuire said. “While we were quite sure of what we wanted to accomplish with the garments and we had very specific visions of how it would wear and look — we still had to go through the step-by-step process of selecting the right materials, getting the right cut and ensuring that production would be top notch. So, along the way we encountered small issues of trial and error where we weren’t happy with a certain fabric and tried something else. We relied heavily on people who were experts in the field and guiding us to make our ideas into reality.’’
The trio always kept in mind the goal of helping the community to get through the pandemic as soon as possible.
“The main goal was always to find a way of getting people to come out of quarantine sooner in comfort and safety,’’ McGuire said. “There were too many drawbacks to the disposable face masks from basic discomfort to forgetting them. And at some point we realized they were becoming a waste problem because they were littering the streets and adding to non biodegradable materials we keep dumping into the environment. We wanted to provide something durable and lasting that you can wear over and over. And let’s face it, the masks are here to stay so we want people to have this option so that anywhere you go where you may be required or want to mask up, you’re already wearing the perfect top with NewBreath.’’
The NewBreath collection includes an array of long- and short-sleeve tops featuring extended funnel neck face masks that fit snugly around the nose and mouth with elastic ear straps. The collection also attempts to provide stylish, comfortable and breathable casualwear for outside activity, workouts at the gym, travel, or to anywhere and wherever safety face masks are required. The pieces also provide +40 UV protection. Those in medium weight feature tiny capillaries for moisture wicking while the heavyweight pieces are dual-sided fused material that exude a more luxurious look and feel. Designs offer the versatility of classic solids from pastels to brights and neons.
“The line was conceived to provide people a safe and responsible way of emerging from isolation and come together as a community,’’ Dickens said. “But it eventually also occurred to us that we need to adapt to the current reality of communicable contagions and how we can all confidently move forward united by a shared sense of safety and ecological responsibility.”
NewBreath, made entirely in the United States, is available in women’s (retailing from $62-$98), men’s ($60-$129) and youth (from $72-$129), sizes small to XXL. For more information, including the opportunity to purchase clothing items in the near future, go to NewBreathClothing.com