Lightning 50 Sector Special: Fashion and Footwear Brands Strut Their Stuff

Fashion model in evening street scene

Brightpearl’s Lightning 50 was launched in 2021 to recognize the UK’s fastest-growing online brands. With the full shortlist now announced, we’re taking a closer look at the sectors that have seen some of the most impressive results. 

In this blog, we’re looking at the apparel, fashion and footwear sector

Ten of the 50 brands featured on the Lightning 50 fall into the apparel, fashion and footwear category – making this the most represented sector in the league table by some way. 

During a period when most of the world stayed home, with no need to dress to impress, it’s perhaps surprising that so many brands in this sector have experienced rapid growth. 

Dressed for success

But the sector is a vast one – and the apparel, fashion and footwear brands that have achieved most success are the ones that have been able to cater for the one thing almost everyone has craved during the pandemic: comfort. 

“Even before the pandemic, some consumers were shifting towards apparel, fashion and footwear brands that could offer comfort and practicality – dress shoes, for example, has been losing a market share to athleisure footwear for a while. However, the demand for comfort shot through the roof in March 2020 as lockdowns took hold,” said Mark Hook, Global Director of Comms at Brightpearl.

“It’s clear that embracing the right tech has played a significant role in the astonishing success of these businesses. It’s no coincidence that a number of them happen to be Brightpearl customers, able to use our retail operating system to easily adapt to trends and grow fearlessly.

“And with studies showing that up to 70 per cent of consumers intend to continue to dress more casually than before the pandemic, there’s opportunity for even more growth going forwards.”

Let’s take a closer look at some of the apparel, fashion and footwear brands that made the list…


Lightning 50 ranking: 10

Revenue increase: 372%

With a well-deserved top 10 spot on the Lightning 50, Cyberjammies is a British brand that specialises in comfy and stylish loungewear and nightwear. In the year when loungewear became workwear for swathes of employees working from home, CyberJammies saw demand for its products soar. 

The omnichannel business – which primarily reaches customers directly via its successful webstore but also via leading retailers including John Lewis, Next and Very – went from impressive 50% year-on-year growth to tripling its revenue in the months after the pandemic took hold. 

For lots of businesses, the sudden uptick in orders would have been too much to handle. Luckily for Cyberjammies, they already had Brightpearl’s scalable, built-for-retail operations platform in place. 


Lightning 50 ranking: 25

Revenue increase: 235%

TruffleShuffle was founded by Pat and Claire more than 15 years ago, who wanted to share their love of retro and themed t-shirts with the world. After selling more than 1,500,000+ t-shirts worldwide, the brand has now earned a top reputation for its range of quirky clothing.

As many of us became able to wear comfy tees instead of boring formalwear in 2020, TruffleShuffle saw a huge spike in demand – and experienced 235% growth. 

As a Brightpearl customer, handling the spike in demand was easy – and the brand was able to maintain its high standard of customer service while also expanding its product range. 

Fairfax & Favor

Lightning 50 ranking: 33

Revenue increase: 192%

Lifestyle fashion brand, Fairfax & Favor, is one of the biggest companies in this sector to make the Lightning 50 – and for good reason. In less than a decade, Fairfax & Favor has secured an impressive reputation as a multi-award-winning brand at the very forefront of British country lifestyle fashion.

With a successful Shopify-powered website, and Brightpearl as its retail operating system, Fairfax & Favor tapped into the increased demand for lifestyle clothing in 2020. The brand expanded its product range, bolstered its supply chain and saw its revenue jump by 192%

Top 5 tech driving growth in the apparel, fashion and footwear sector: 

  1. Facebook
  2. Shopify
  3. Brightpearl
  4. Klaviyo
  5. Magento

Do you run an apparel, fashion and footwear brand that’s doing awesome things?

Register your interest for next year’s Lightning 50 by clicking here