According to the company then, the funds will be used to bolster efforts in existing markets, as well as fuel expansion in international markets, including Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines and the US.
Additionally, the company is exploring categories outside of fashion as part of its plan to create a holistic female ecosystem.
In line with this ambition, Love, Bonito announced today (October 17) that it has acquired Singapore-based women-led activewear brand butter. and a small stake investment in Singapore-based natural healthcare startup Moom Health.
Following the acquisition of butter., the activewear line has since been rebranded to cheak, which is a play on the word ‘cheeky’ and a representation of the brands’ vibrant personas.
This category expansion into activewear is also part of its long-term vision to support the essential facets of women’s needs within Asia.
Furthermore, activewear is one of the fastest-growing segments apparel in Asia Pacific, with a projected five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 8.5 per cent from 2021 to 2025.
The post-pandemic cultural shift in dress code norms have also propelled activewear as a casual alternative beyond workouts, coining the term ‘athleisure’.
“This is an extraordinary milestone for us to achieve within one year of our Series C funding. Our long-term vision is to be a true life partner for our community of women, in and beyond fashion, and activewear is a key category we’ve looked to venture into since two years ago,” says Dione Song, CEO of Love, Bonito.
“Merging forces with butter. came at the right place and time for both of us, and we look forward to reshaping our evolution into a female ecosystem alongside emerging passion-driven women-led brands.”
The women behind butter.
Established in 2020, butter. was co-founded by Olivia Yiong and Tiffany Chng, who are avid sports women looking to address a long-standing lack of high-quality affordable activewear with an Asian fit.
Within its first year of operations, butter. achieved a growth of S$500,000 in revenue with only five products, and was on track to achieve 138 per cent year-on-year growth.
It had also established credibility amongst the local fitness scene, with over 100 instructors onboarded on their instructor programme.
“Tiffany and I were inspired to start an activewear brand simply because we couldn’t find chic, affordable pieces that fit our Asian body types well,” said Olivia.
“Fast forward two years, we’ve grown butter. from two products to 12 unique styles, and also created a community of passionate, like-minded women in the fitness space. We’re so thankful for all the support thus far and are thrilled to bring butter. to the international stage with Love, Bonito.”
Their keen Asian sensibility and commitment to fostering a strong female community was what truly cemented Love, Bonito’s decision to onboard the brand.
Together, they are driven by the shared Asian-centric design philosophy and brand mission to empower the everyday Asian women with confidence through its thoughtfully-designed apparels.
“As Love, Bonito evolves into the next stages of growth, we want to join forces with like-hearted female founders and brands to make a difference and impact the lives of Asian women globally. Our vision has always been to journey with a woman through the different aspects and stages of life, and this acquisition allows us to do so meaningfully,” said Rachel Lim, co-founder of Love, Bonito.
Asian-centric activewear with cheak
Grounded by a mission to empower the everyday Asian women with an Asian-centric design philosophy, this partnership is set to be a seamless cultural blend between both brands.
Love, Bonito envisions bringing cheak apparels to global markets with its established international go-to market strategy, and will leverage on butter.’s resonance across all life stages to expand its customer base, including a growing Gen Z segment.
“Every element of cheak has been carefully chosen to represent the ambitious female active persona — strong and confident, mindful, and knows how to have a little fun along the way,” explained Tiffany.
cheak builds upon butter.’s signature design philosophies, launching in two different fabrics.
The first one is BaseCore, which is sweat wicking, compressive and suitable for high intensity activities like HIIT, spinning and running, and the second is BaseFlex, which feels ultra-soft and silky smooth throughout low intensity activities such as yoga, pilates and barre.
Customers can look forward to a total of 12 styles — including sports bras, leggings and biker shorts — as well as seven inclusive sizes from XXS to XXL. They will also be available in 13 colours, with eight colours available on Love, Bonito.
Prices for the all-new cheak activewear range from S$50 to S$79.
Early access is available from October 20 on Love, Bonito’s global website (which ships to 20 countries worldwide) and Love, Bonito’s store in ION Orchard in Singapore, exclusive for only Gold and Silver members.
The collection will be launched to the public from October 21 on both Love, Bonito and cheak’s website as well as across all Love, Bonito stores in Singapore.
Featured Image Credit: cheak