Direct-to-consumer sock brand Bombas has come a long way since its cofounders appeared on Shark Tank in 2014. Bombas’ growth accelerated in 2020, as consumers turned to online shopping and needed comfy socks for their work-from-home attire.
Bombas is a mission-driven company that donates one pair of socks, underwear or a T-shirt to a homeless shelter for every pair of socks purchased. The brand has extended its cause-driven mindset to its marketing strategy, and that hit new heights during the pandemic. Kate Huyett, chief marketing officer at Bombas, was at the forefront of those efforts. After lockdown closed company offices, Bombas’ corporate gifting team, which sold bulk orders to big companies for giveaways at conferences and benefits, re-routed more than 25,000 pairs of socks to frontline medical workers.
As brands paused ad-spend in the early days of the pandemic, Bombas chose to stop email communications until it could offer relevant updates about how it was aiding the pandemic effort by partnering with homeless advocacy groups.
As e-commerce took center stage, Bombas’ sales rose as high as 40% in those early days of the pandemic, and the company has since grown to become a $100 million DTC brand. Bombas has expanded its product line to include underwear and has donated more than 40 million pairs of socks to date.