Worship ISRO? Flaunt your love for it via official merchandise designed by this Bengaluru start-up
How would you like to sport a T-shirt which proudly displays your love for ISRO , the space organisation that has done our country very proud? Or a sweatshirt with the 100% original image of the first-ever picture of Mars taken by Mangalyaan, India's space probe orbiting Mars? No! We are not referring to the blasphemous and unofficial merchandise floating somewhere in the e-commerce universe, untethered to ISRO. We are talking about official merchandise officiated from India's space agency. Officially!
Is that enough officials to convince you?
The lifestyle brand 1947IND has made this possible, for real. It might be one of the brands that has officially partnered with ISRO to offer you an eclectic range of products but it is surely the first past the finish line, meaning, the first start-up that has its products out there for us to binge-shop now. So, shall we?
In an official capacity, 1947IND began its talks with ISRO in January 2021 and signed on the dotted line, that is the MoU, just last month. The designs were finalised in close communication and collaboration with ISRO because neither would settle for anything but the best and most accurate. There are T-shirts, drop shoulders, hoodies, sweatshirts, stickers, key chains and about 20 more products launched. Before you go, 'That's all?', here's what you can expect next — bandanas, sketchbooks, educational toys, collectable cards, books for kids, posters and about 80 products within the next three months. The designs can compete at the global level, the typography is super professional and everything is as top-class and high-quality as it can be.
"What ISRO asked was from us was to do everything properly, right down to the last detail. We need to check with them before we put any product out there but apart from that, they encouraged us exceedingly to create products that the youth would connect with," says Sowjanya Prabhu, Founder, 1947IND. Rajeeva Mahalinga, the Co-founder who is also the Chief Designer, informs us that it was only the best quality tri-blend (mixture of cotton, polyester and rayon) #MadeInBengaluru, and a little in Tamil Nadu, was used. Apart from tri-blend, they do offer cotton, bamboo cotton and other material as well.
Sowjanya and Rajeeva
The designs! Oh, the designs. Apart from ISRO's logo, Mars Orbiter Mission - Mangalyaan and Dr Vikram Sarabhai what you can expect from them in the future are Venn and mechanical diagrams of future missions, Indian Space leaders including Missle Man Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. This is your cue to start saving up already. "Having worked with ISRO's engineers and scientists on the accuracy of the design, we have developed a great rapport with them. We work tirelessly together because we are fans of ISRO too and want to do the best for them," says Rajeeva.
It was all about accuracy and simplicity for both parties. Take Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark II, or simply GSLV, for example. "They were two versions of GSLV, the largest launch vehicle developed in India, and when we sent the designs to ISRO just for verification, they got back with the proposal of taking up a simpler version of the design which, we agreed, was much better," explains Rajeeva. Which is why their designs for Chandrayaan are still under talks. "Merchandise that represents a particular brand creates a sense of advocacy. ISRO's larger vision was to create a connection with the youth and familiarise its missions, leaders, and achievements," says Rajeeva. Not only the research materials, but even the expertise of ISRO scientists is available to the Bengaluru -based start-up.
As someone who pursued Master's in Management Information System (MIS) from University of Akron, Ohio in the US and has seen cities like New York and Boston along with agencies like NASA flaunting their awesomeness on merchandise, Rajeeva couldn't help but wonder which such options are not available for India's landmark, of high-quality and good taste, of course. That's how in January 2019, 1947IND was started with Sowjanya Prabhu (sister-in-law of Rajeeva) at the helm of things. For their work with the Mysuru government, in terms of helping come up with logos in Kannada and English, stickers, et al, they even won Karnataka Government's Elevate 100 Award given to the best start-ups. Currently, they are working to put Chikmagalur's glory and its glorious coffee on the map by coming up with city-based merchandise for it. So you see, they've been in the field of city-based merchandising for a long time now and acing it. Their partnership with ISRO helps them take their game a level up.