Butter Cloth is making “extraordinarily soft” shirts

Butter Cloth is making “extraordinarily soft” shirts


Name: Butter Cloth

Location: Long Beach, California

Founded: 2018

Founder(s): Danh Tran

Website: https://buttercloth.com/

Social Media: 3,937 people likes on Facebook, 149 followers on Twitter, and 4,878 followers on Instagram (as on 22nd March, 2019),  


Butter Cloth is in the Textiles, Apparel and Luxury Goods industry. The apparel industry in the US is valued at $346Bn in and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1.9% over 2019-2023. The luxury goods industry, which includes apparels and other accessories, was valued at $192Bn in 2018.

26% of US males say they would gladly buy their shirts online. In a space where Butter Cloth is competing with some major players like J. Crew and Brooks Brothers, this should come as a welcome news.


Butter Cloth was started by Danh Tran, a Vietnamese native, who migrated to California with his family as a child. Tran always felt that dress shirts were very uncomfortable and he set out to design a fabric that felt like a T-shirt. Tran, who always dreamed of being a fashion designer, started Butter Cloth in the January of 2017.

The company targets people looking for comfortable shirts with attractive designs and fits, which they claim, are different from other prominent brands. Their shirts are priced in the range of $98 – $118. The company has been news since November 2018 when it was able to secure a funding of $250,000 from Robert Herjavec on an episode of the Shark Tank.


The USP of Butter Cloth is the fabric that it has developed. While their shirts like sophisticated casual ones, they are extraordinarily soft and feel like a t-shirt. The Butter Cloth website claims their shirts are made of 100% natural and sustainable long fiber cotton with 6-way stretch for maximum comfort. The products come in multiple designs and sizes. The firm started operations by selling on Facebook and has its own website today. Apart from buying shirts of their choice, customers can also send gift cards to others or order what mystery boxes – a surprise shirt on sale.

Origin and Founding Team

The story of Butter Cloth is closely linked with the story of its founder, Danh Tran. Born in Vietnam, Tran worked in his family’s tailor shop as a kid. By the time he grew up, he was making his own clothes and nursing a dream of coming to America and becoming a fashion designer. The second dream materialized in 1994 when his family immigrated to California where he took fashion classes at a community college and landed a job at Mattel. He used his savings and enrolled at Otis College of Art and Design from where he obtained a B.A. in fashion. Later on, he cashed in his 401K, sold his house, and invested everything to start his business, Butter Cloth.

Performance and Trends

The company started most of its marketing through social and digital media and had, as of November 2018, made $500,000 since its launch. It had media attention after LA Lakers star Ron Artest, better known as Metta World Peace, acquired an equity stake in 2017. In November 2018, Tran appeared on Shark Tank where he impressed Robert Hervajec who picked up a 25% stake in the firm for $250,000.

While Tran had sought the same amount for a 10% stake, Hervajec valued the company at $1M, which was agreed upon by Tran. Butter Cloth’s biggest challenge has been customer acquisition so far – they spend approximately $40 for one customer. The infusion of money along with the popularity they garnered should help Butter Cloth; they started doing 4,000 orders in a week immediately after the episode aired.

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