- What is your brand’s mission and who are your target customers? What is so unique about the brand and its products?
Flipped Lab creates activewear that embodies and confidently celebrates youth culture and attitude. Founded by three female entrepreneurs passionate about fashion, design, and active lifestyles, Flipped Lab is on a mission to rebel against ordinary rules and perceptions that hold us back from being who we truly are. We capture vitality from skating, surfing, street dance, and other active sports that create their own cultures and fashion.
We use cutting-edge fabrics, unique patterns, and inspirational art and collections to express our passion for active lifestyles both today and in the future. Each piece we create seamlessly integrates an aggressively cool attitude, one-of-kind graphic designs, high fashion elements, and exclusive 3D digital pattern-making technologies, enabling us to craft our own style.
- Girl Power
We reject the male-dominated world of street fashion and active sportswear and are committed to swaying the balance by introducing fits, colors, and concepts that showcase our power and femininity. We want to help girls take back control of their fashion expression with stylish activewear that truly speaks to their beliefs and attitudes.
- Imperfect Is The New Perfect
We bring our sportswear to life with the attitude that “Imperfect is the new Perfect”. Chill, ignore traditional societal standards and celebrate who you are. This is how we live our lives, and how we aspire to influence our communities.
We are committed to constantly expanding our efforts to source sustainable materials and fabrics with minimal social and environmental footprints. All Flipped Lab packaging is PLASTIC FREE and we never stop searching for new environmentally-friendly solutions.
What’s more, our unique digital 3D pattern-making underpins our sustainable production processes, ensuring less material is wasted throughout product development and manufacturing.
What Makes Us Stand Apart
Our entire design and pattern-making process is run on cutting-edge 3D virtual sampling technologies.
Decisively different from traditional 2D pattern-making and grading methods, we build garment silhouettes based on digital torsos of diverse body shapes, allowing us to transition 3D perfect-fit garments to 2D patterns in real-time. This lets us precision-fit our active lifestyle apparel to your body shape, instead of you having to take your chances with standard industry fits. 3D pattern making also maximally reduces fabric waste during development and production in line with our passion for sustainability.
We work exclusively with Sdibit, Japan’s most advanced 3D digital pattern-making company and have generated digital torsos for different body shapes utilizing the company’s extensive body form database, collected for over 13 years from all across the world.
- Introduce the brand stories, how did it start?
Despite always having enjoyed exploring different experiences throughout my life, with my finance background, I never could have imagined that I would start a brand one day. During the summer of 2019, however, I worked for a fashion startup assisting the founder with fundraising and strategy development in Miami. As an Asian woman who could not speak a word of Spanish and had few connections in the city, I spent nearly all of my free time in the gym and ended up buying an amazing amount of sportswear that summer. This experience sparked my keen interest, and I began to dig deeper into sports apparel, initially from an investor’s perspective. The more I researched, the more excited I got, and I ultimately fell insanely in love with this industry, determining it was the business area where I wanted to devote the rest of my career.
I feel that clothes are the perfect medium to express one’s uniqueness and personality. From my personal experiences, however, I saw that existing sports apparel offered only limited gym wear choices in terms of patterns, color ranges, and styles. Flipped Lab rejects the male-dominated world of street fashion and active sportswear and are committed to swaying the balance by introducing fits, colors, and concepts that showcase our power and femininity. We want to help girls take back control of their fashion expression with stylish active wear that truly speaks to their beliefs and attitudes.
- How did you raise your first fund and what do you think are the key elements of winning the pitch?
We got our first fund even before the brand was official established from Yale Tsai CITY (Center for innovation thinking), where the founder Emma interacted and cooperated with entrepreneurs across Yale and got so many supports and inspirations from the alumni, faculty and students.
We then got the first round of VC fund from Monad Ventures through the introduction of friends. We feel that sincerely demonstrating our understanding of the market and uniqueness of the products is the key element to win the pitch when the brand has not been verified by the market.
- Do you identify your brand as a DTC brand? What is your model of building and growing the community?
Yes, we identify ourselves as a DTC brand in the sense that we sell and deliver our products directly to our customers and listen to their voices on a daily basis.
We started with the mission to rebel against ordinary rules and help girls take back control of their fashion expression with activewear that truly speaks to their beliefs and attitudes. Our first batch of customers are our friends or their networks who hold the same mission and like to experience different indoor/outdoor sports.
We then grow our community by hosting all kinds of sports and activities like K-pop dance, outdoor yoga, and stand-up paddling with our customers, crews, and staff to celebrate life together and have fun. We also combine our products with music, painting, and performance art through co-branding partnerships, pop-up stores, and eclectic book fairs.
- Can you share 1 or 2 milestones of your brand that you are proud of?
Achieving almost 30% MoM growth in GMV revenue since our launch, gaining a bunch of loyal customers who spare no effort to encourage us and continuously give our feedbacks, and closing two rounds of vc funding are some of Flipped Lab’s largest milestones thus far.
- How do you measure the brand’s practice on sustainability?
There are three aspects to Flipped Lab’s sustainability practices:
- Materials and Fabrics
Adopting more sustainable fabric solutions is nothing new. From day one, we have been committed to constantly sourcing more environmentally friendly fabrics. In many product lines, we use biodegradable materials – GREENONE® – fibers synthesized from soybeans, corn and other plants, and decomposed under landfill within 264 days
All Flipped Lab packaging is plastic free. We are constantly looking for new ways to reduce excessive plastic and paper packaging waste, and are firmly committed to using recycled materials and actively recycling whenever possible.
Compared with traditional clothing, sportswear is more special in terms of durability. The fabrics are worn close to the body, and they will often rub against equipment and the ground, making them less durable in general. It took us more than one year to develop our fabrics, researching and developing together with our partners on the abrasion resistance and resilience of the products, to make them last longer and perform better. We hope that Flipped Lab can accompany our users for a longer time.
3）The whole process
What’s more. our unique digital 3D pattern-making underpins our sustainable production processes, ensuring less material is wasted throughout product development and manufacturing.
- Can you share a bit more about your marketing strategy for 2022/2023? Anything we can look forward to?
In the coming year, we will carry out a variety of offline events across the US including joint artist exhibitions, K-pop dance battles, outdoor yoga, etc. to grow our community and let more people know our thinking behind the design and functions. At the same time, we are actively searching for our first pop-up or even permanent shop space in NYC/Miami. Hopefully, our customers can see us in brick-and-mortar locations soon.
- What are your core products and where do you produce them?
Our core products are functional sportswear including sports bra, legging, shorts, bodysuits, etc. Our most iconic collections are CHECKER series. The design is inspired by Ichimatsu, a traditional Japanese pattern of alternating dark and light squares. The endless nature of the pattern aligns with our values that girls could live whatever they want to be without any restrictions. We now produce them in China and the fabrics and materials are from the globe.