Black Woman-Owned Sock Brand, Tough Cutie, Lands Coveted Retail Partnership with REI Co-op

February 22, 2023

In just six months of sales, the Texas-based company has acquired more than 10 retail partnerships and has now secured its largest wholesale account

Austin, Texas (February 22, 2023) /SPORTSWIRE WOMEN/ – Tough Cutie, the active lifestyle sock brand dedicated to creating a positive impact for women adventurers and entrepreneurs, today announced a major retail expansion, bringing its best-selling sock style to 35 REI Co-op stores nationwide and online. In its first six months of selling, the Texas-based sock brand has signed deals with Title Nine, Public Lands, various outdoor speciality accounts, and most recently, REI. Its latest partnership includes three sock styles, highlighted by an exclusively-produced design for the outdoor retailer debuting in July 2023.

“This partnership represents progress for communities historically shut out from both the boardroom and the backcountry,” said CEO and founder Brittany Coleman. “Our socks go toe-to-toe with competitors in every level of performance, but the differentiator that separates us in the marketplace is the economic agency we provide for all our women-owned vendors and the commitment to making the outdoors more diverse. Having a partner like REI, which shares these goals and invests in positively impacting equality, is an incredible step in the right direction for our industry.”

Over the course of her career, which included leadership and analyst positions for several outdoors and active lifestyle brands, Coleman became increasingly frustrated as she noticed male-run product development and research teams not understanding women or including them in the decision-making process. Coleman founded Tough Cutie in 2019, becoming the first and only outdoor sock brand with a majority women-owned value chain, and joining an estimated 1% of founders in the outdoor industry who identify as a person of color. Entirely USA-made in a WRAP-certified factory and designed using feedback from women, Tough Cutie unveiled its first sock – Eve: The Original Ladies Lightweight Merino Wool Hiker – in 2022.

Eve is a lightweight hiker constructed from a Merino Wool blend that features technical performance elements, including targeted cushioning and calibrated compression zones for high-impact activities, strategically-placed elastic in the footbed for stretch and recovery, fortified spandex for stay-in-place power, dual-tone mesh ventilation, 360 degrees arch support and a flat toe seam to avoid pulling. It is currently available in a crew-length edition in seven colors and three sizes accommodating women’s shoe sizes four to 13.

“REI is thrilled to be partnering with Tough Cutie to launch the new Eve Merino Wool Hiking socks,” said Dan Gilbert, REI Co-op Sock Buyer. “This brand brings a beautifully crafted performance hiking sock to the market, with compelling and inclusive color options. Tough Cutie is a fantastic representation of REI’s commitment to expand the number of diverse-owned and led brands offered to our members.”

Tough Cutie’s sock, Eve ($25 MSRP), is available in REI stores and REI.com as of today.

For more information, please visit toughcutie.com.

Please direct Tough Cutie media inquiries to New Local PR Founder and Account Director Anna Avery at anna@newlocalpr.com.

About Tough Cutie

Founded by Brittany Coleman in 2019, Tough Cutie is a USA-made, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) – certified company designing socks to support women from the ground up. It is the first and only sock brand with a majority women-owned value chain, effectively positioning itself as one of the highest-impact brands, in terms of economic agency, in the outdoors industry. 100% of Tough Cutie sales go to supporting women-owned businesses. Additionally, as a Black-owned company, Tough Cutie continually strives to create equity in adventure and active lifestyle spaces through nonprofit partnerships and donations. Its first sock, Eve, launched in 2022 after a rigorous and thoughtful design process that centered feedback from women. The result is an innovative, dynamic, and durable sock that literally and figuratively supports women in their walk through life.