‘The innerwear segment — especially boxers which bring comfort, functionality and style together — have become a staple attire’
Anurag Saboo is the Co-founder and Director at DaMENSCH, a D2C men’s innerwear brand. Their innovations go beyond designs where they are on a mission to create premium essential wear for modern men who seek excellence in everything. Through the brand, Saboo and his team are trying to fill the big white space in the wardrobe of the modern man. For him, it’s all about innovation and not the ordinary humdrum of life. With his ingenious eye for detail, each product at DaMENSCH represents innovative proprietary technologies never heard of before.
Before co-founding his own brand, Saboo worked with companies like Nykaa.com and Snapdeal. He completed his degree from IIT Delhi and schooling from Ryan International School, Delhi.
DaMENSCH is a D2C brand catering to the men’s premium essential wear segment in India. An Indian men’s apparel start-up, it was conceived with the idea of introducing innovation and unparalleled functionality in men’s daily wearables. The intent was to begin with the most neglected and challenging part of the male wardrobe – the innerwear.
The DaMENSCH Man is ambitious, motivated, confident, and creative. Anyone in the age group of 18 to 45 or beyond, possessing an open, liberal mindset and willing to break stereotypes is a DaMENSCH man. The brand believes everyone can Do More Everyday. To unlock one’s true potential, not being absolutely content with the status quo is important. For that innate satisfaction and pursuit of excellence, the brand is creating an inclusive community of those who seek continuous improvement in comfort, well-being, and life. DaMENSCH targets the discerning consumer who is a global Indian, the premium consumers of the brand veer towards minimalistic and chic designs as they are confident in being distinctive in a DaMENSCH.
While the pandemic has disrupted leading brands in the fashion segment and the industry as a whole, essential wear has seen a new spark due to work from home and other corporate business continuity plans. Functionality over style is the essence today. This has led to a 6x growth for DaMENSCH from pre-Covid to today.
DaMENSCH's product range of innerwear includes “Deo-Soft” - India’s first odour cancelling underwear, “Neo-Skin” - thermoregulating vests made from a curated composition of sustainable bamboo fibers, among other products catering to the comfort of the modern man. At DaMENSCH, we are pushing the limits of textile engineering and solving unseen problems, we believe in sustainability and innovation — which is why we also know that better products last longer, and hence help the environment. Staying true to our philosophy of slow fashion, we launched the loungewear Constant Collection of 500-Day T-Shirts and 500-Day Shorts, which comes with an industry-first 500-day warranty.
Not just products, our packaging too boasts of innovation – choosing between corn husk and paper-based packaging has resulted in saving 10 lakhs plus units of single-use plastic - almost 160 Burj Khalifas if you pile them up!
We intend on deepening our presence in the existing categories by getting more styles, since apparel is all about being relevant to fashion and yet evolving year on year. Within the innerwear segment, we launched our new range of Breeeze boxers, which are our collection of ultralight boxers. We also recently introduced our new range of tank tops that are made of 100% cotton, and are a reinvention to make tanks cool again.
DaMENSCH envisions emerging as a lifestyle brand that will become an integral part of every global Indian’s wardrobe. We want to be the lighthouse brand that is driving culture by being the thought leader and driving conversations around body positivity, gender equality, while being the torchbearer of healthy masculinity.
Our marketing strategy is to inspire and acknowledge men who live the DaMENSCH philosophy of striving for excellence and innovation.
We are currently a 100 cr brand ARR and look forward to achieving more than 3x in the next 2 years. Our plans are geared for the same and we believe our tech-enabled omni-channel strategy will aid this growth. We are also expanding rapidly across all departments - product, engineering, marketing, and supply chain. We moved to an office space that allows us to house our new team, and boasts of an in-house studio as we gear up on focusing on content-commerce strategy in the times to come.
In pre-Covid times, the men’s apparel industry was seeing an average of 12-13% CAGR. The digital native online consumer ignited this revolution seeking distinct and innovative products, fabrics and sought out brands like ours which challenged the norm.
So, while the innerwear segment for online platforms grew 2.5x pre-Covid, we at DAMENSCH grew 6x. Innerwear being an essential service continued its distribution and growth trajectory, and as consumers warmed up to the new work from home regime – the innerwear segment — especially boxers which bring comfort, functionality and style together — have become a staple attire.
Boxers as a category has grown significantly due to WFH, e-retailers have witnessed a 2x growth in the category aided with consumer demand for more colours, styles, and funky prints. Overall innerwear as a category is now seeing an upsurge of Indian men looking for tailormade fabric suited for our weather and body types. The Indian consumers are bravely swapping their T-shirts for their sleeveless versions - the tank tops.
Being a tropical country, Indians prefer natural fabrics that are superior in sweat absorption - be it cotton blends or new-age fabric like Modal. While the choice of fabric is different for top wear and bottom wear, the breathability of the fabric coupled with engineering innovations — like DaMENSCH’s proprietary fabric which is 3x softer than cotton — is becoming the preferred choice.
While cotton continues to be an integral part of Indian apparel, Bamboo is a new-age fabric that is finding favours owing to its suitability for innerwear. Marred by supply constraints, only a few brands indulge in the fabric keeping the higher cost in mind. Our Bamboo vest has found likability in the premium consumer segment which has a higher disposable income and is willing to pay for the improved quality and reduced environmental impact.
While briefs were considered the innerwear of preference for Indian men at a point in time, the modern Indian man has found the trunk to be a good alternative, whether it comes to daily activities or sports. Trunks and boxers are categories that are growing year on year. The Indian market with its vast geographic scale and humidity demands innerwear that is airy, and can leave you uncomfortable.
Innerwear is the fastest growing apparel category where growth post-Covid has been even faster. Innerwear was a highly unorganized sector, however, in the last 5 years, the market has moved towards more branded segments. As a category, about 10% of purchases are now made online which is indicative of an apparent shift in behavior.
A consumer who would shy away from trying innerwear online now knows that brands like DaMENSCH offer a try-on guarantee, and the first one is on the house if he is not happy with the purchase, or in case of a size issue. 95% of our consumers are men who are choosing the brand because the modern man is not negligent about his innerwear and considers it an essential purchase.