Over the past couple of years, athleisure and loungewear have become more and more fashionable. Now, wearing neutral t-shirt and sweatpants isn’t just reserved for lazy days at home. Celebrities, influencers, and normal people are frequenting the streets and hitting the shopping malls dressed in comfortable clothing.
Since it appears this trend isn’t going anywhere, Feat Clothing has hopped on the bandwagon.
Founded in 2015 by Parker Burr and Taylor Offer, Feat brought in just under $10 million in sales last year. This year, the founders predict to double their sales and even hope to take on Lululemon, a Canadian manufacturer of yoga-inspired athletic apparel.
“With the growing athleisure market, our team, and our product, we’re pretty confident we can get to that size in five years,” Offer says. “The next two to three years we’ll be in hyper-growth mode, then it’s about becoming a household name, then on from there.”
As of December, 2020, Lululemon brought in revenue of $3.98 billion worldwide and $2.85 billion in the U.S. Feat thinks there’s a good chance they could catch up to those statistics, and possibly even surpass Lululemon’s popularity.
How Coronavirus Has Impacted Feat
Despite the coronavirus pandemic demanding lockdowns and mass quarantines, the athleisure market experienced exponential growth. After all, since people were mostly staying in the comfort of their own homes, sweatpants, sweatshirts, and comfy clothing was becoming high-ticket clothing items.
Feat saw their sales come into close range of their goal, which Burr and Offer now say is “sustainable.” Even during the post-pandemic age (whenever that will be), athleisure isn’t expected to go anywhere. In 2018, the U.S. athleisure market was valued at $155.2 billion and is expected to grow to $257.1 billion (almost seven percent growth) by 2026.
In the early quarantine days of March 2020, workers traded in their attire when from the traditional suit-and-tie to workout clothes. Since then, the athleisure market has boomed. Brands like Lululemon, Alo Yoga, Fabletics, and Champion saw exponential growth in their company’s sales, and Feat thinks they can meet their status.
But Burr and Offer know it’s not all sunshine and rainbows; reaching the status of Lululemon will take a lot of hard work and dedication.
The Start of Something New (and Exciting)
Global sales of athleisure were estimates at $250 billion in 2020, and Burr and Offer expect to see that number double in the next seven years. Burr and Offer first got into the apparel business about a decade ago, when they met at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying an entrepreneurship class.
Burr was designing a customized T-shirt for campus organizations, and Offer was creating custom across uniforms. The pair team up and combine their creative minds to produce graphic socks, selling 20,000 pairs in just the first year of business together.
At the time, everyone’s favorites hoodies were being produced by companies like Adidas or Champion. So, Feat saw an opportunity. Their growth took them to use factories in China, where the duo started producing hoodies.
Then in 2015, they officially launched their company, Feat.
Since its launch, Feat has collaborated with influencers to attract followers. While it was all the company could afford at the time, it ended up being a genius marketing move. Today, influencer marketing has grown approximately $9.7 billion.
Using influencers for marketing over celebrities is becoming more and more popular. In fact, 70 percent of teens trust influencers more than celebrities, and since teens seem to be the ones setting the trends these days, people are following along.
Becoming the Next Lululemon
Feat doesn’t attribute their growth to one specific thing: it’s a combination of influencer marketing, reaching out to friends and family, and connecting with their audience. As of this year, Feat distributes between 10,000 and 20,000 orders per month, right out of LA. The brand boasts 20 employees, a logistics partner in the U.S, and a reliable manufacturing partner in China.
Since its founding, the brand has expanded far beyond graphic socks and hoodies. Feat includes lines for both men and women, featuring hoodies, crewnecks, joggers, shorts, and matching sets.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Feat hopes to grow the company and add more style throughout the year and eventually, “dominate athleisure as a whole,” taking on big-brand names like Champion and Lululemon.
The brand has been inspired by other companies around the world promoting sustainability in their product. Currently, Feat is redesigning their manufacturing process to use recycled materials, less packaging, and teaming up with non-profit organizations to reduce the negative impact our clothing has on the environment.
Feat has already drawn up strategies to put its sustainability plan into action. By the end of 2021, the company is set to be using 70 percent recycled polyester. They’re currently planning a partnership with Carbonfund, a non-profit organization that works to offsets carbon and greenhouse gas reduction.
As of right now, the company doesn’t plan to open up brick-and-mortar clothing stores. Instead, they’re set on being an online-only business, which many businesses have done since the global pandemic started.
Growing as a Brand
While Feat’s growth has been slow, it’s certainly been impressive. In just five years, Feat has already made a name for themselves, bringing in just under $10 million in sales last year.
Their influencer marketing strategies have been able to draw in followers from all walks of life, and their sustainability efforts continue to grow with a zero-carbon footprint initiate by the end of 2021 — But the company isn’t done yet …
Offer comments on the future of the company, “The next two to three years we’ll be in hyper-growth mode, then it’s about becoming a household name, then on from there.”
- Featured Image, Unsplash