Sustainable underwear brand Stripe & Stare secures £2.5m funding

Growth capital investor BGF has led a £2.5m investment round into sustainable female underwear brand, Stripe & Stare, alongside a consortium of high-profile investors. BGF provided £1.5m of growth capital with the remaining amount coming from private backers, including Richard Longhurst, co-founder of Lovehoney and Sam Galsworthy of Sipsmith Gin.

Headquartered in Devon, Stripe & Stare was founded in 2017 by friends and business colleagues Katie Lopes and Nicola Piercy, with the aim of creating the most comfortable and eco-friendly knickers in the world.

The Stripe & Stare range of products, which includes underwear, lounge and sleepwear, is made from a material called Modal that is sustainably produced in Austria from beechwood trees. Stripe & Stare knickers are 95% biodegradable and in 2021 they released a world first 100% biodegradable lace underwear collection, meaning they can be put in compost rather than the landfill.

The fast-growth business has grown revenue by over 100% a year for the last three years, driven by an increased demand for sustainable fashion and a buoyant e-commerce market. In addition to its thriving online platform, the brand is stocked by a host of independent and high-end retailers including Selfridges in the UK and Bloomingdales in the US.

Investment will be used to scale the business by increasing employment and production capacity at its Yelverton HQ in Devon in order to drive UK and international sales.

Nicola Piercy, co-founder of Stripe & Stare, said: “The last 12 months has exceeded all expectations for the business. We’ve seen consistently strong organic growth and repeat purchase rates. We’ve created a product that women absolutely love and as a result we’ve received global recognition for our product range.

“In order to move to the next stage of growth it was clear we needed a partner who understood the needs of our company and could provide the support we need to scale. There was clear synergy between Stripe & Stare and the BGF investment team. With a focus on long-term, minority investment and experience of building successful e-commerce businesses, it was clear they were the right partners to take us to the next stage of growth.”

The investment for BGF was led by Daniel Tapson and Hannah Waters.