Despite its short run, we’ll always remember Entireworld as one of the defining uniforms of the pandemic. Founded by entrepreneur Scott Sternberg in 2018, the direct-to-consumer label skyrocketed to popularity at the onset of the pandemic, when its assortment of technicolor basics resonated with newly homebound consumers substituting suits for sweatpants. Sternberg revealed that his brand enjoyed its highest-grossing day ever on April 24, 2020, when it was selling upwards of 1,000 pairs per day compared to pre-pandemic averages of 46. The sweatsuits, according to GQ, were “cute enough for Zoom calls and comfortable enough for the couch.”
The New York Times even took note, publishing a viral piece called “Sweatpants Forever” that documented Entireworld’s unlikely ascension—a perfect storm of circumstance. So when Sternberg penned a heartfelt Instagram post late last week announcing that Entireworld would be permanently closing, it seemed like, well, the entire world reacted with shock.
The abrupt closure puts the challenges of running an independent clothing label into focus. Raising money had always been a challenge for Sternberg, who noted on Instagram that the label had struggled with “years of unsuccessful fundraising.” And despite big-picture press coverage and a high-profile brand partnership with Warby Parker, scaling the business proved too difficult, even when the company’s entire premise captured lightning in a bottle.
“A few weeks ago, we were closing an acquisition deal that would’ve finally given us a shot at realizing the financial potential of the brand,” Sternberg wrote. “But that deal disappeared in a flash, leaving us and our factories high and dry and giving us no choice but to shut things down. What a gift to be part of your lives during this pandemic, to have had purpose and hopefully provided calm and comfort.”