retail watch | Nov 17, 2022 |
Coyuchi’s CEO wants ‘sustainability at scale’

San Francisco–based textile brand Coyuchi has long positioned itself as a resource for sustainable, organic cotton and recycled soft home products. With an increasingly eco-conscious consumer base, that’s not a bad place to be—and the numbers are proving out the thesis.

Coming off a 26 percent year-over-year net sales growth that saw its overall revenue climb to $33.3 million, Coyuchi is on an upward trajectory, CEO Eileen Mockus tells Business of Home. “We felt the timing has been right for the past 18 months.”

Founded 30 years ago, Coyuchi—named for the Native American term for “earth-colored cotton”—has recently become much more aggressive in a number of areas:

A new store, in Palo Alto, California, is the brand’s first new location since its original store opened in Point Reyes Station, California, in 2008. At 1,300 square feet, the former is smaller than the latter but represents a more sophisticated merchandising presence, with enhanced displays and technology suitable for the savvy Bay Area demographic.

In August, Coyuchi opened up to outside investors under a Regulation A+ offering (a financial mechanism that allows the general public to buy equity in a company) and is now nearing the $1 million mark in funding through that campaign. The brand had previously attracted $20 million in private investor funding from several venture capitalists including Saffron Hill Ventures.

Also earlier this year, Coyuchi added to its management team with the promotion of Sejal Solanki, previously vice president of e-commerce and marketing, to chief marketing officer, and the hiring of Marcus Chung, a veteran of lingerie brand ThirdLove, as chief operating officer.

Finally, Coyuchi has stepped up its role in the California Cotton & Climate Coalition, known as C4, which will allow the brand to begin selling a new product called the Climate Beneficial Cotton Comforter, largely American-made and -grown. A new line of sheets with similar characteristics—though it will be woven overseas—is expected in 2023.

The new store, in Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village center, is getting most of Mockus’s attention right now, with finishing touches still underway ahead of its official Friday debut. Opening right before the holiday shopping season was “opportunistic,” she said, adding that two to three additional retail locations are in the works for 2023.

Despite a push to open stores, Coyuchi will continue to get the bulk of its sales from e-commerce, which accounts for about 80 percent of its revenue. It also has a smaller wholesale business, with third-party retailers like Anthropologie and Nordstrom, that will continue but is not necessarily an area Mockus said is being targeted.

With its focus on sustainability, Mockus said Coyuchi is well positioned, particularly as millennial customers demand more such product offerings. “We’ve been working on this for years, and we don’t see any indication that customers will be pulling back from this. It’s here to stay,” she says.

All this activity, of course, begs the question of what’s next for the company. Its SEC filings in conjunction with its Regulation A+ offering suggests Coyuchi could go public through an IPO at some point, but Mockus—a Williams-Sonoma veteran who joined Coyuchi as VP of product in 2011 and was named president two years later—says it’s only one of several options going forward.

In the meantime, Coyuchi has a new store to open and a business to grow. As the company said in announcing its financial offering, “Coyuchi is poised for a new phase of growth as the world awakens to sustainability at scale.”

Homepage image: The Cloud Brushed Organic flannel duvet cover in Cypress | Courtesy of Coyuchi


Warren Shoulberg is the former editor in chief for several leading B2B publications. He has been a guest lecturer at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business; received honors from the International Furnishings and Design Association and the Fashion Institute of Technology; and been cited by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and other media as a leading industry expert. His Retail Watch columns offer deep industry insights on major markets and product categories.

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