Ethika is an American men's and women's underwear company founded in 2001 by Malcolm McCassy, Travis Pastrana, Ryan Sheckler. The company is based in San Clemente, CA and has produced a longer fitting boxer brief, which they refer to as "The Staple." In 2015, the company expanded its product offering, launching multiple new products for men, women and children.Contents
Ethika was founded in 2001 by Malcolm McCassy when he noticed a void in the Men's Underwear category. There wasn’t an underwear brand that offered a multi-purpose product for the active lifestyle that also had the ‘cool factor’. From 2001 to 2009, Ethika was more just a brand name and a group of friends than it was an underwear company. During this time, many different fits and fabrics were sampled in hopes of creating something new and different in the category.
In order to gain exposure for the brand, stickers were placed on some of the top skateboarders and motocross riders. Skateboarder Ryan Sheckler was seen at the X-Games when he was just 13 years old with an Ethika sticker on his helmet. After much testing, there was an overwhelming response from the athletes to produce a longer fitting pair of briefs in cotton fabric. At this time, there were no lifestyle underwear brands offering fits of this length in the market. In 2005 The Staple Fit was developed and the brand finally had its marquee product.
At the end of 2009, Ethika launched an official website and the brand began shipping limited product out of Malcolm’s garage. Over the next few years, brand popularity began to grow among key athletes and influencers because of comfort and all around usage. Product started to be seen on the not only top athletes, but celebrities and musicians. Justin Bieber, Lil Jon, Brody Jenner and numerous others were seen wearing the brand.
In late 2012, the current CEO, Matt Cook joined the company to provide capital and infrastructure in the hopes to expand the brand into retail channels and build out a sophisticated digital platform. That year, Ethika moved into Matt's existing offices, hired several employees, and began selling product to select retail accounts. Ethika started to expand its brand ambassadors in the Music and Lifestyle Categories.
Ethika got its first break, almost simultaneously, with Zumiez and Tillys. Both are national action sport retail chains that had faith in the brand and product and worked with Ethika to build the underwear category. At this time, Ethika was also working on its own digital platform, which was a priority for CEO Matt Cook whose background was in technology and internet marketing. With the combination of some moderate retail and online success, the company started to see some growth. During this time, the brand developed its product strategy into three categories – Lifestyle, Performance and Premium. Slowly, new styles were developed and tested online to determine marketability and acceptance, which is a strategy that is still practiced today.
In 2014, Ethika began to develop a women’s line, which would eventually be ready to launch in late 2015. A youth line was also created and launched during this time, allowing the brand to offer something for everyone.
In mid 2016, Ethika gained more international popularity when it signed a multi-year deal with the global soccer superstar, Dani Alves. Part of their deal included a signature series of lifestyle and performance underwear, which was released and sold online and through select retailers.
Early in 2017, Ethika continued to establish itself as a leader in lifestyle and culture by releasing an exclusive collection of hip-hop music called the RGB Mixtape. The project featured new songs and signature Ethika designed underwear from 12 hip-hop artists including Meek Mill, Kid Ink, Ace Hood, Jahlil Beats, Casey Veggies, Dave East, Chevy Woods and others.
Shortly after the launch of the RGB Mixtape, Ethika announced a partnership with motorsports icon Valentino Rossi, which also included a signature collection that released in June 2017.Products
Ethika launched with one product called The Staple Fit. This fit was new to the lifestyle marketplace and became the foundation for all future Men’s products. This fit was designed to be perfect for all activities of the day. The longer fit proved a key ingredient to preventing rise and keeping everything in place. The brand started with solid colors and then evolved to include a wide variety of prints and patterns. In 2016, two different styles of a traditional boxer style short were launched, along with a shorter version of The Staple called The Mid. The women’s lifestyle collection included basic fits for both top and bottoms, including four bra styles and six bottom styles.
In 2015, Ethika developed a performance line of men’s products with three new styles – Micromesh, Flow and SubZero. These styles were designed with the same Staple Fit and included special fabric designed for maximum ventilation and cooling during workouts. These fabrics were also used in a series of performance styles for women as well.
In 2015, Ethika developed a premium line of products. While still staying with the original Staple Fit, the Premium Line included high end fabrics of Modal and Nylon for men and women. Different top and bottom silhouettes were also developed for the women’s category including a V-Neck Bra, Triangle Bra and a Brazilian Thong and Cheeky.Ethika Music
Music has been a huge source of influence and growth for Ethika. Lil Jon, Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Machine Gun Kelly, and Meek Mill were some of the first artists seen wearing the brand. Soon after, Kid Ink, Casey Veggies, The Game and Chevy Woods all released signature collections. In 2017, Ethika released a hip-hop mixtape, RGB1 with twelve artists – Meek Mill, Kid Ink, Casey Veggies, Lil Durk, Chevy Woods, Ace Hood, Bricc Baby, YBS Skola, Jahlil Beats, Tdot Illdude, Dave East and Bok Nero. Each artist released a new exclusive song in addition to a new signature design of Ethikas. The project was said to become an annual release for Ethika.
In 2018, Ethika released their second mix tape, RGB2. Kid Ink, Casey Veggies, Lil Durk, Ace Hood, YBS Skola, Tdot Illdude, Casey Veggies returned for RGB2. Its 19 tracks were rounded out by the likes of 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, Kodak Black, Lil Skies, Chevy Woods, Zoey Dollaz, and Young Jordan.
Ethika's Prophesy Mixtape also dropped in 2018, with 13 tracks from a younger generation of artists. Just like RGB1 and RGB2, each artist also has a signature pair of Ethikas.Promotional contracts
The company hired motorsports athlete Travis Pastrana in 2001 to be part of the "Ethika familie". Skateboarder Ryan Sheckler is also employed.. Other athletes hired by Ethika include: