Play Out is an omnichannel gender-equal underwear and athleisure brand. Poised to lead the new market of gender-equal fashion, Play Out offers gender-expression affirming apparel for Gen Z to shop their authentic selves while supporting their values. As a Social Good Enterprise, customers choose to shop from Play Out due to their impact focus on sustainability and ethical manufacturing, and donation of 20% of net profits to LGBTQ+ and BLM organizations, supporting their mission to combat homophobia and transphobia through marketing, product design, and partnerships.
Bootstrapped by the Founders, First rolling close of $100,000 (from $500,000 authorized Angel round) in April, 2021. $32,000 Revenue 2020, 780 Orders $12,000 Revenue YTD, 260 Orders 25% Returning Customer Rate $53 AOV 2.4 UPT Our style sells. Our customer acquisition works. It’s time to dominate this emerging market. This is our product-market fit, with investment, we can hockey stick our growth and revenue. We're truly building this new gender-equal market. Customer Message: “I want to thank you so much for creating a business that caters to people like me and treats us as normal and worthy of respect and clothes that fit, arbitrary gender norms be damned. It's really uplifting to see.”
Gen Z commands $143B in buying power, and research shows that 56% of them shop outside of their assigned gender. Gender-equal fashion is the future of mainstream fashion. Because we design athleisure and underwear, our market includes the US athleisure market that saw $105B in sales in 2020, and the combined US undergarments market that saw $13.4B in sales. I say combined because we are truly creating a new market of gender-equal clothing.
Problem or Opportunity
For anyone who doesn’t conform to gender stereotypes, shopping for clothing can be incredibly stressful and intimidating. Being forced to shop arbitrary gender norms, gender nonconforming individuals are not being served. As members of the LGBTQ+ community and with 20 years of experience in ecommerce and fashion retail, gender-equal fashion is who we are. We know how to authentically connect with and sell to this community.
Solution (product or service)
Play Out is available now at our ecommerce website. All athleisure and underwear is specifically designed with gender-equal construction – meaning they’re flattering for any body type. We do NOT have men’s or women’s sections on our website; rather, all upper body styles are unisex, styles of underwear and other bottoms have a flat-stitched front or pouch front design. All styles are available equally across colors and prints, so there is no subliminal allocation of gender.
The gender-equal apparel market is a new market. Competitors in the underwear and athleisure space range from legacy brands that reinforce or are limited to hyper-gendered styles, to newer startups that do target the LGBTQ+ community. However, they are not truly gender-equal (TomboyX is an example, but they only sell assigned female at birth apparel) or they do not authentically connect with this target demographic. Our limited-edition prints are designed in-house and cannot be copied (IP) and drive return purchasing.
Advantages or differentiators
Some recent Customer quotes: “I want to thank you so much for creating a business that caters to people like me and treats us as normal and worthy of respect and clothes that fit, arbitrary gender norms be damned. It's really uplifting to see.” “I wanted to just say that I appreciate your clothing brand. It’s not just ANY clothing brand, it’s a brand that doesn’t have a gender. A brand that we can all finally look at and be proud of instead of constantly battling with labels. I’m rooting for your company to grow…” Our flat-front jockstraps are first to market - no one else designs these. Our team brings over 20 years of experience in fashion retail and ecommerce expertise. We donate 20% Net Profits to LGBTQ+ and BLM nonprofit organizations Inclusive XS-5X sizing Prioritize using overstock of raw materials & sourcing recycled fabrics. With revenue & sales growth, we look to use sustainable materials and prioritize a future invested in circular textiles. Made in Mexico at a female-owned factory that employs LGBTQ+ individuals and workers 55+ years of age All of our styles and designs are made in-house by Chief Design Officer and cofounder E Leifer. The prints are limited-edition, royalty-free licensing of E's artwork: the paintings are digitized as prints & digitally printed on our fabric. Once they are sold out, they are no longer available, think of limited-edition collectors apparel. Driving limited-edition demand with one-of-a-kind proprietary prints. We have tight control over our vertical supply chain, working closely with our manufacturer in Guadalajara for small runs of exclusive designs (prints and styles) and fast lead times.
Omnichannel retail: 85% Direct-to-consumer ecommerce sales to customers, 15% wholesale Future Brick and Mortar Future Social Shopping App and membership experience - recurring revenue Pop-ups, events, activations
Money will be spent on
Use of Funds: Hiring two roles to the marketing team: Social Media Content Creator and Digital Marketing Analyst Direct Digital Advertising Spend - targeted advertising campaigns and paid Influencer marketing relationships, PR investment Logistics and Fulfillment for our growth June 2021 Pride GTM: Paid advertising with Conde Nast, Leverage CN’s influence and editorial storytelling to celebrate Play Out Apparel’s unique products, brand aura, and charitable ties across THEM and Teen Vogue’s multi-channel platforms (expertly targeted to our Gen Z demographic)
Graduate: Founder Institute Silicon Valley, Winter 2020. Founder Institute Sel ect Portfolio Company designation ("The Founder Institute's Select Portfolio is a designation given to the top 2% of Graduates fr om the world's premier pre-seed startup accelerator." https://fi.co/select )
Won the competition and other awards
WINNER National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce-EY Sip&Pitch - April 2020 WINNER Ureeka Connect Pitch Competition June 2020 - $5,000 prize WINNER National Business Inclusion Consortium Unity Week Pitch Competition – Nov. 2020 - $20,000 prize WINNER ERA LGBTQ+ Pitch Night - April 2021