We had the good fortune of being introduced to the brand Meander Apparel by the Founders Jill and Steve Henry last January at ISPO. It was in the Top 50 Newcomers of 2020 area we had the opportunity to chat to Jill and see the collection. Many (enjoyable) conversations later, the duo have just opened their first pop up store in the heart of Edinburgh, on George Street. We sent our Junior Photographer Kyle Burgess to the store opening and as you can see the Meander team have created a very exciting retail launch pad for the brand.
Our purpose is to create sustainable, multi-functional clothing that’s comfortable and fuses performance fabrics for everyday adventures which seems to be exactly what our customers are looking for. Customers love the smart look and relaxed comfortable fit and have been wearing them for everything from working at home to afternoon yoga sessions, gardening and cycling.
Jill and Steve Henry, Founders of Meander Apparel
Launched in 2018, Meander Apparel is a fashion brand with a conscience. They create sustainable, technical clothing for your everyday adventures and are on a mission to simplify life for the modern adventurer with a versatile collection of functional and timeless designs that boast both style and performance. Their flagship collection has already been sported by the likes of Sir Richard Branson, his son Sam, fashion designer Henry Holland and Olympic cycling gold-medalist Callum Skinner.
Despite being a small business, Meander committed to donating all profits on sales to the WHO Covid-19 Response fund and the NHS charities together at the start of lockdown, a move that resulted in an increase of 135% in traffic to the website and a 340% increase in sales, before ending the initiative as restrictions eased and non-essential businesses reopened.
“We originally started the campaign as we felt unsure about carrying on with business as usual when many people and businesses were suffering and wanted to do something to give back.”
Blown away by the response and donating to two amazing causes, their audience is growing by the day. With more people shopping online during lockdown and paying more attention to sustainability, brands like Meander Apparel have been able to thrive.
As a direct to consumer company, brand awareness is crucial for Meander, so with the cancellation of all direct to consumer events they had to find another way to get the brand out there and believed a physical retail space could make all the difference.
With a permanent retail space falling through at the start of lockdown and another opportunity lost in August, Meander co-founder Jill didn’t let these stumbling blocks get in the way of her goal to have a physical store for Christmas. Jill walked round Edinburgh in search of empty retail units and noted down the estate agents of ones that fitted the bill. One particular space, the old Pringle store on Edinburgh’s main shopping thoroughfare, George Street, caught her eye, so she decided to take a chance.
I realised that the pandemic would be making it difficult for estate agents to fill retail spaces with long term tenants, so I thought why not propose offering to take on the shop on a short term contract, as a pop-up.
And it worked.
Now occupying a store next door to household names like Aspinal of London and Molton Brown on one of the busiest streets in Edinburgh, George Street.
Visit Meander Apparel, 33 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2HN
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