Bombas Gets Into The Undies Biz

Bombas, the D2C company that engenders all kinds of loyalty for its socks, says underpants should be just as comfy. So it's introducing a line for both men and women. Promising Bombas-level softness, the undies also continue the company's popular #OneForOne proposition, donating a pair for each one it sells.

Chief brand officer Randy Goldberg took time out for an email Q&A to explain the thinking behind the company's new direction.

D2C FYI: How did you decide on underwear for your first step outside of socks? On the one hand, it seems like a natural evolution. On the other, it's always risky for a company best known for a single product to diversify -- and the underwear category is very crowded.

Randy Goldberg: Over the years, Bombas has become known for changing the industry and creating the most comfortable version of a product most people never thought twice about. After seeing the impact and demand around our socks, we wanted to apply the same comfort-focused approach to other items people wear closest to their bodies.

We used our comfort expertise to launch into apparel with T-shirts in 2019, so we're excited to now offer underwear.

D2C FYI: Who is your core market?

Goldberg: Bombas Underwear is designed and built to appeal to a wide range of individuals and fit real human bodies. We want to be a brand that appeals to everyone and offer inclusive products.

Our product offerings cater to anyone looking for a little extra comfort in the clothes they wear every day -- socks, tees and now underwear. My fellow co-founders and I don't come from a fashion background, so it was important to approach our products' design from a consumer lens to make the most comfortable, elevated basics out there.

We understand how much trust goes into the items you wear closest to your body every day. And we want Bombas to be the first thing that someone puts on in the morning and that they're least excited to take off at the end of the day.

D2C FYI: Why is the one-for-one donation idea so important?

Goldberg: Bombas was founded because socks are the No. 1 most requested clothing items at homeless shelters. And now with the introduction of underwear, we'll provide the homeless community with the top three essential clothing items: socks, underwear and T-shirts.

Staying true to that mission, we are donating a specially designed pair of underwear to someone in need for every pair of underwear purchased. Developed with the help of our network of Giving Partners (homeless shelters and community programs), the donation underwear will be available in two silhouettes, hipster (women's) and boxer-short (men's), produced in darker colors for less visible wear and dual sizing for a flexible fit.

We work with 3,500-plus Giving Partners in 50 states. Not only do we provide these organizations with donation products, we also work very closely with each partner to understand what they do and how they serve those in need.

D2C FYI: Inclusive sizing always sounds like a nice thing to offer, but often presents manufacturing challenges. Was that easy or difficult to achieve?

Goldberg: The idea was to design underwear for real human bodies, rather than for a model. To do so, we did not take a one-size-fits-all approach to development, and put specific focus on both the design and fit of each offer.

While some brands fit new products on a straight-size model and “grade-up” the full-size range from there, our team intentionally fit the product on both Medium and 1X models to ensure there were improvements specific to the size range and provided the best fit.

D2C FYI: How are you marketing the new line?

Goldberg: We have supported the launch through organic and paid marketing channels, including email, social, search and influencer programming. You'll also begin to see us add TV, audio and direct mail into the mix in the coming months. 

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