There is nothing glamorous about shopping for men's underwear. But when the economy is decent, sales certainly do go up—between August 2011 and August 2012, sales of men's underwear in the U.S. jumped 6% year in a year. Perhaps this is the perfect time, then, for DaDa Underwear's Quarterly Underwear Club, a subscription service that delivers new, clean men's underwear every quarter.
"I felt there was a gap in the market for men's underwear. I felt it had been left behind, dominated by big name designers," says Hamish Lawson, who a year ago launched DaDa Underwear as a sustainable underwear company that emphasizes fair treatment of workers.
Lawson doesn't source the kind of stock, boring underwear you might buy from Walmart. Working with a manufacturer in Sri Lanka, he experiments with fabrics like organic cotton, seaweed, bamboo, coffee grinds, and coconut shells. The seaweed fabric, he says, is "very lightweight, quick drying, and more of a summer fabric."
After running his small business for a year, Lawson found that certain styles sold extremely well, while others sat unordered. The Underwear Club is an attempt to fix that problem—to gauge what customers want reasonably far in advance and to raise awareness of new fabrics.
After signing up for the Quarterly Underwear Club, Lawson says, subscribers will receive a voucher in December that can be redeemed on the website in January 2014. Just select your size, fabrics, style, and colors, and watch as the underwear rolls in every three months. The cost: $95 for the year.
Lawson admits that his club is not for the affordable underwear connoisseur. While cheap cotton sells for about $1.50 per yard to a small producer like DaDa, seaweed fabric goes for a staggering $11 per yard—a number that will drop if DaDa sells the material in bulk, but it still won't be cheap. "Our audience is affluent males in their 20s to 40s who are socially conscious rather than socially devoted," he says. "We're not an eco-label as such."
DaDa subscriptions are available here.