A year ago, we profiled a bedsheets startup called Boll & Branch, in a story called The Truth About Your Cotton Bedsheets Will Give You Nightmares. Founders Scott and Missy Tannen spent months understanding the cotton supply chain and realized that cotton is a dirty crop, one that requires lots of pesticides that end up polluting the groundwater, which sometimes poisons entire villages. They launched their company in 2013 and sourced all of their cotton from an organic co-op in India called Chetna Organic. This sets them apart from other online bedsheets startups, like Brooklinen, Parachute, and CloudTen.
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Boll & Branch has been growing at a fast clip. According to a report released today by the Textile Exchange, a global nonprofit that pushes for more sustainable supply chains, Boll & Branch is the fastest growing organic cotton brand and the seventh largest overall consumer of organic cotton. This is impressive, given that it was competing with brands like Patagonia, H&M, Nike, and Inditex (which owns Zara).
According to Scott Tannen, the brand’s growth hasn’t come from millennial-dense coastal cities, unlike many other direct to consumer startups. Instead, it has customers across the country, many of whom are older. Boll & Branch’s aesthetic, which is more classic and traditional that its counterparts, is tailored to these consumers. The brand recently made its first foray into brick-and-mortar, with a store in Shot Hills, New Jersey, and it plans to have a total of 20 stores by 2020.