Cape Town-based company Thursdays Lingerie and Swimwear has launched a crowdfunding campaign to assist the label to extend its size range to a G cup.
Thursdays founder Shona Macdonald has spent five years on market research and product development, pulling together a team of lingerie experts which impressed the judges on Shark Tank SA. The brand has since gone on to launch a swimwear collection and most recently, their fynbos lingerie collection.
According to Macdonald, there are 84 bra sizes between an A cup and a K cup. With its Thundaboobs campaign launched on rewards-based crowdfunding platform, ThundaFund, Thursdays hopes to expand its product offering and size range to be more inclusive of full-busted women who are not represented in the market currently.
“We are often approached by women desperate to find beautiful bras in their size, and it’s so frustrating for us to not yet be able to help them. Our goal is to make every woman feel beautiful in her skin, and that starts by making products that fit her shape and that are available in her size. Sadly, in today’s era, the women who literally need the most breast support, receive the least. Not only does this leave them with the daily physical back and neck pain, but also with the emotional impact of not feeling good enough,” says Macdonald.
“With the support of the South African people, we aim to raise funds to invest in the necessary design and development to extend the Thursdays size range to be more inclusive for the African landscape. Afterall, the diversity of our nation should be represented in the diversity of our fashion. We currently have 16 bra sizes between a C cup and an F cup, but it’s not enough.”
Reviving local lingerie manufacturing
Macdonald notes that the local lingerie industry has been on a rapid decline for the past two decades and is now on the brink of extinction due to mass, cheap imports from Asia. Determined to retain these skills locally, Thursdays is working with Elizabeth Downes, a 77-year-old retired lingerie expert, who has helped train the next generation of bra makers in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town.
All Thursdays products are designed and made in South Africa.
“I am thrilled to be working with a female-owned factory to upskill their team to make our products. They have really taken the challenge head on and have created really beautiful lingerie. Our team shows great promise, and I know that with further training and development, it won’t be long until our products are showcased on an international stage,” says Macdonald.
The goals for their Thundaboobs campaign are twofold.
“I obviously want to raise capital to invest back into my business, but I also want to use the campaign as a platform to educate other women on what crowdfunding is, and how viable it can be as a means of finance for a startup. It shocks me at how little people know about crowdfunding in Africa, especially when we are a nation brimming with creative talent and little access to traditional means of funding.
"Crowdfunding seems like the natural alternative, but not enough people are using it. I am hoping that through the success of my campaign, more women entrepreneurs are inspired to upload their own campaigns,” says Macdonald.
“I want people to realize that they don’t need to have a fat bank account to make crowdfunding work for them, it’s all in your spirit and your chutzpah," she adds.
Macdonald will be writing an Ebook after her campaign on all the lessons they have learned, leading up to, and during the campaign, and giving their top tips on how to crowdfund in Africa. This will be distributed for free to all their campaign backers.
The Thundafund campaign has raised $5,240 since its launch on 1 August. Rewards include a "We Support Boobs" t-shirt, fynbos-infused gin and a 40% discount on Thursdays bras, depending on the amount pledged.
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