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Design Thinking: Bombas

(Image courtesy of Bombas)

In Graduate School, one of the buzzwords professors love to discuss is "Design Thinking." Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding (Dam and Siang). Design Thinking enables a company to understand consumer needs to serve their audience better. For this project, I contacted different companies to learn how the organizations apply Design Thinking into their market offerings. I had the opportunity to talk with Imani, Senior PR & Communications Manager at Bombas, to learn more about the mission and vision of the company.

(Image courtesy of Bombas)

1.What makes Bombas different from other brands?

Since the founders didn't start out in the apparel business, they initially approached design from a consumer perspective. Once they really started to think about socks, they asked themselves: what are the features that can be better about this product that are usually an afterthought? Socks haven't changed in 50+ years, so we wanted to shift how people have historically purchased this often-forgotten clothing item.

Before launching, the founders dedicated two+ years on research and development to make one pair of socks. They reimagined what their version of the sock could be and considered high-quality materials, including cotton fibers and merino wool. The brand continues to iterate and improve the sock technology every season to ensure customers are wearing the most comfortable products out there. Bombas has become known for changing the industry with socks and creating the most comfortable version of a product most people never thought twice about.

After seeing the impact and demand around its socks, Bombas wanted to apply the same comfort-focused approach to other items people wear closest to their bodies. Bombas now makes elevated essentials that you live in and wear closest to your body everyday - it started with the most comfortable socks in the history of feet, extended to a better version of your everyday t-shirt in Spring 2019 and launched underwear so comfortable you’ll forget you’re even wearing them in January of 2021.

For socks, we created design-forward elements, like a seamless toe, cushioned footbed and honeycomb arch support for everyday comfort. For t-shirts, we sourced Peruvian pima cotton to offer a natural, cool-to-the-touch feel and more comfortable fit, creating a higher quality everyday go-to tees with a refined vibe, designed to look better, feel better and last longer than any other T-Shirt out there. For underwear, we blended moisture-wicking, durable fabrics that provide the perfect fit for every body in all the right places. Bombas Underwear is breathable, tag-free and includes technological features that make the product feel effortlessly comfortable. It’s important to us that we continue approaching design from the lens of the customer for both product and donation items as we look at ways to improve and innovate Bombas offerings.

(Image courtesy of Bombas)

2. How does the company incorporate its mission and vision into its product offerings?

Supporting those in need, through giving back and volunteer efforts, is the lifeblood of Bombas and the reason why the business exists. Since launching in 2013, we’ve continued to see the impact and demand for socks through time spent interacting with the homeless community and ongoing dialogue with our network of Giving Partners (homeless shelters and community organizations). These conversations opened our eyes to other needs and we wanted to find more ways to apply the same comfort-focused approach to other high-demand clothing items.

This led us to launch t-shirts in 2019 and recently, underwear in January 2021. With these new product categories, not only are we able to provide our paying customers with comfortable, thoughtfully-designed everyday essentials, but we’re able to continue our promise to distribute new, clean, correctly-sized versions of the top three most requested clothing items (#1 socks, #2 underwear, #3 t-shirts) in homeless shelters for a community that rarely receives products designed with their needs in. To date, we’ve donated more than 50 million items (and counting) to our network of 3,500+ Giving Partners across all 50 states and major cities.

(Image courtesy of Bombas)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog! Please reach out if you have any ideas for content, partnerships, and more!

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