As we look back on the year, any attempt to sum it all up will be an understatement to say the least. We’ve been through two crowdfunding campaigns and a pandemic, and we think it’s fair to say we’ve made it out the other side! Now more than ever, the world needs sustainable alternatives to protect our health and the future of our planet. We want to share briiv with the world because everyone has a right to clean air and as we start this new chapter, we thought it was only right to look back and reflect on the journey that got us here.
The concept for briiv was born in 2018, with James Whitfield (our Ship’s Captain!) investigating materials which could be used in conventional home appliances to reduce or even completely replace plastic – the menace which plagues our environment, oceans, and land at present. It was after one particularly studious evening reading the latest journals and academic resources that a combination of articles struck a chord. Pollution in general was a hot topic at the time and there happened to be a couple of research efforts, which found multiple organic compounds out in the world that were being tested in isolation for their filtration properties. Something which would make air more breathable, for use in various applications but mainly in big industry.
James had his lightbulb moment, when thinking about how to bring all these factors together. A common home appliance which was completely plastic-free; An application where these various filters could all be brought together for the same purpose in that unit; And most of all - How do we provide this industry-changing technology to the masses, so everyone in the world can enjoy the benefits?
After numerous prototypes and years in development, the briiv Air Filter took form. Thanks to Creative Designer Sean Sykes (Our First Mate!), not only was briiv functional, but also beautiful.
This innovation started to break ground not just in manufacturing and sustainable production, but aesthetics – Just because something was eco-friendly, didn’t mean it had to be expensive or ugly.
It wouldn’t be long before the concept was finalised, and the curtain raised on an invention which was truly unique, ready to be unveiled.
Kicking off with Kickstarter
In April 2020, we introduced briiv to the world for the first time. Looking back, it’s hard to imagine how or why we decided to go ahead with the launch during a countrywide lockdown, but we did! We of course had the option of waiting and postponing the project, but ultimately decided to push on, and we’re glad that we did.
Like so many others we overcame the challenges of working remotely, having to produce work and collaborate without being able to see each other was tough, but one thing we’re very proud of, is how briiv came together as a finished product during this time.
You can, of course, expect any new product to come with its difficulties, which I’m sure you know briiv wasn’t without. Getting briiv out into the world was simply… just really hard work! At the time we only had a small team of around 5 people working to make briiv a reality. This meant we went through a lot of trial and error trying to figure out the best way to do things and how to create the best air filter we could possibly make. Being in lockdown for almost the entire campaign, made the process that much harder.
Even after unveiling briiv to the world, we didn’t stop to try and improve on what we already thought was perfection. Briiv initially had a four-stage filter system which involved wool and carbon materials, but our clever engineering team endeavoured to create a unique innovation which proudly sits in briiv today and was a free upgrade for every single backer – the Silk Matrix Filter.
Activated carbon is a compound which is well known in the air purification industry for its powers to absorb VOC’s and other harmful pollutants. We fabricated this material and have engineered a bespoke method of being able to blend this with Peace Silk, to create an ultra-fine filtration layer which has a great surface area, but also incredible capture properties. This innovation we call the ‘Silk Matrix’ filter.
Reaching the Stars with Indiegogo
June marked the end of our Kickstarter campaign and the start of our Indiegogo campaign. I think it’s fair to say this is where briiv really took off and we saw more and more people take interest in our innovation. We feel that all the hard work we put into our Kickstarter really paid off during our Indiegogo campaign. It’s during this time we featured in many notable publications like design week, Forbes, Elle Decoration and Livingetc. We won prestigious awards such as the Red Dot Product Design Award 2021, A design Award and WIRED Gear of the Year 2021.
And to top it off, we reached the $1 million mark, making briiv a million-dollar product! We’re proud of all these achievements, but the one that stands out for us, is expanding our team. During our time on Indiegogo, we hired 6 new team members!
Growing the briiv Team has been a joy of ours, and something we were only able to do due to our ongoing support.
With a long campaign comes a lot of challenges, but out of the many things we could have guessed the pandemic would cause, we would never have guessed it would cause a microchip shortage!
Out of all the components effected, our WIFI chip was hit hardest by this, so this had a huge impact on our shipping progress. When some components eventually became available, they were 10x more expensive than before the pandemic and incredibly hard to get hold of! We had to think on our feet or face the problem of delaying our entire production process for some time. We made the decision to redesign the boards and source new components while waiting on the old components to arrive. Having these two routes of production allowed us to get back in the driving seat and move ahead with manufacturing the rest of briiv.
The briiv app was something we were looking forward being able to introduce to our customers as it solidified the briiv as a smart device. However, we are product designers first, and app builders second. The launch of the briiv app came with more than a few technical issues. The process of ironing out the glitches hasn’t been an easy one, but we can definitely say we’ve learned a lot from it along the way!
At the start of November 2021, our Indiegogo campaign finally came to an end and signalled the conclusion to a long crowdfunding journey. Looking to the future, briiv is now available to purchase on our website, and will soon be available in stores worldwide, so you can have it at a drop of a hat.
Some of our biggest joys this past year have been simply putting an entire product together, from what started out as just an idea. It’s seeing briiv reach the ‘fully funded’ mark on Kickstarter, meaning we could make briiv a reality and make it accessible to people around the world. Finally, it’s been the team we’ve been able to build. Having the opportunity to bring the right people on board has made this past year that much better. Of course, none of our successes and accomplishments would’ve happened if it wasn’t for everyone’s ongoing support of briiv. For that, we are truly grateful! We look forward to seeing what this next year brings!
The briiv Team