Pembroke VCT has invested GBP2 million into JustWears, a men’s basic wear brand focused on comfortable, sustainable and high-performance fabrics.
JustWears was launched in 2018 by co-founders Yang Liu and Alex Walsh to address a gap in the male underwear market and meet the needs of consumers by focusing on comfort and sustainability. Since launch, JustWears has featured on the BBC’s Dragons Den and sold over 150,000 underwear to happy customers with more than 3,000 five-star reviews.
In a sector dominated by legacy brands, a key point of difference for JustWears is the brand’s bold content and humorous marketing, designed to encourage customer engagement and dialogue on a topic traditionally considered awkward.
JustWears’ flagship underwear product features an innovative ergonomic pouch design to ensure comfort and breathability. Whilst the founders place emphasis on the quality and functionality of the JustWears product, they are equally committed to ensuring a transparent and ethical manufacturing process.
JustWears partners closely with a family-run manufacturer that uses a sustainable fibre derived from Austrian beech trees called ‘MicroModal Air’. This material has a significantly lower environmental impact than traditional alternatives, using 10x less acreage and requiring 20x less water to produce than cotton. The packaging customers receive is also 100 per cent recyclable, reusable and biodegradable.
Pembroke VCT’s investment will contribute toward product research and development, growing the marketing and product development teams, and building inventory to meet increased demand.
Simon Porter, Investment Director of Pembroke, says: “When we first met Yang and Alex, we were hugely impressed with their motivation and dedication, as well as their ability to innovate in a category that is ripe for disruption. The JustWears team has created a high-quality product, made with a focus on sustainability. We are delighted to be an investor in JustWears and look forward to working with the team to help the business continue to grow at an impressive speed.”
Yang Liu, Founder and CEO of JustWears, says: “Having experienced first-hand the impact of unsustainable crops like cotton can have on the plant, the time is now to reduce our over-reliance on certain natural fabrics. After all, the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world and until there is a commitment by brands and companies to change the materials they use, this isn’t going to happen. We’re excited to bring Pembroke and our other amazing investors on this journey to help lead this change and create comfortable and sustainable everyday clothing items that people love.”
The investment follows the launch of Pembroke VCT’s new share offer to raise up to GBP60 million (an initial GBP40 million, with an over-allotment facility for a further GBP20 million).