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Reformation not looking for an exit just yet

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Mar 25, 2024
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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Permira-backed Reformation isn't on the market or prepping an S-1 just yet, CEO Hali Borenstein told Axios on the sidelines of Shoptalk.

Why it matters: Market conditions are improving and the global IPO market is at an inflection point for companies with optimal financials and a good story.

By the numbers: The sustainable clothing brand Reformation aspires to be a billion-dollar company and to get there, it may need to pursue some kind of financing in the future, Borenstein says.

Catch up quick: Permira acquired a majority stake in 2019 for an undisclosed price.

The latest: The PE owner isn't in a rush to offload its stake. "They feel they have a lot of value already in the business and can continue to realize value," Borenstein says.

What's next: Approximately 20% of Reformation's revenue comes from outside the U.S., and Borenstein says the company will continue an international push.

  • The company also aims to expand its stores by 10 to 15 a year, Borenstein says. It also plans to work with more wholesale partners.

Swimwear is also back in the catalog, as Reformation relaunches its swimwear line made of biobased textiles.

  • Reformation scrapped its first line in 2019 because the fabric that it was made from — Econyl nylon, a regenerated textile that comes from ocean and landfill waste — wasn't deemed sustainable enough because of the plastic component, Borenstein says.
  • This time around, Reformation partnered with Italian fabric manufacturer Fulgar to make EVO, a renewable textile that is plastic free and made from the castor plant.

Zoom in: Reformation says it works with emerging startups and NGOs to identify technologies and companies making sustainable fabrics.

  • Reformation regularly makes investments in these companies. Typically the agreement is structured without any equity attached, but Reformation helps bring the new material to market.
  • "Anytime we introduce a new material, it goes through very strenuous testing with our supply chain with our sustainability team to get approved," Borenstein says.
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