Thinx expands into activewear

Permission granted by Thinx

AUTHOR Cara Salpini@CaraSalpini PUBLISHED Jan. 20, 2021 RETAIL DIVE

Dive Brief:

  • In a year where comfort has been a stray bright spot in retail, DTC period underwear brand Thinx is launching into the activewear space, the company said last week.

  • The brand, which became known for its absorbent underwear, is launching leggings, cycling shorts, leotards and training shorts, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive. All of the products feature the company's absorbent technology.

  • The activewear items retail for between $65 and $95, and are sold through Thinx's website as well as "select retail partners," including Nordstrom.

Dive Insight: After a year that brought "tremendous adoption" of period underwear, according to CEO Maria Molland, Thinx is capitalizing on it by entering a new category. Activewear has been top of mind for many retailers this year as the category has proven to be a consistent winner during the pandemic, which has pushed consumers away from workwear and into all things casual, comfortable and active. Thinx enters the space with a unique offering, as its products are focused on being both functional activewear and also on solving some of women's concerns around periods. The company said it is the first period solution brand to offer a full collection of activewear.

In pursuit of this dual functionality, the collection will mimic workout gear through expected design elements like built-in shelf bras and "smoothing waistbands," but will also feature "period-specific details like heating pad pockets." The brand is also actively pitching the line as an extension of the athleisure trend. "Now with more consumers in the space, it's the perfect time to expand the line into Activewear," Molland said in a statement. "Whether you're wearing them on your period for an at-home workout, or just wearing them while working from home, we hope this line becomes a regular part of people's lives." Thinx, founded in 2013, has been one of the bigger DTC players to emerge in the past few years as large underwear companies lose market share, and has made a name for itself with big retail partners like Nordstrom. The brand also announced in 2019 that it would sell products through tech-focused startup B8ta. Molland noted the pandemic-induced surge in online shopping as a boon to Thinx, and other DTC brands have also seen record growth during the global health crisis, including leak-proof underwear competitor Knix. Knix CEO and founder Joanna Griffiths told Retail Dive last year that April sales had risen 65% year over year, and May sales were on track for even higher.

Griffiths also told Retail Dive in 2019 that it saw a boost in sales when Thinx founder Miki Agrawal was accused of sexual harassment and later stepped down. Despite the shake to Thinx's brand image, the company seems to still be experiencing growth, and holds an advantageous position as one of the brands to popularize period solution-focused apparel.

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