Green is the new black as sustainable clothing retailer eyes expansion


MEANDER Apparel – a sustainable outdoor clothing and lifestyle brand with its flagship stores in Stockbridge, Edinburgh and Seven Dials, London – has secured funding from the British Business Bank as it gears up for the launch of its crowdfunding campaign later this month.

Co-founders Jill and Steve Henry received a £25,000 loan from the British Business Bank and Virgin StartUp to support the business’ growth ahead of its first public funding round, which is expected to launch on 13th July. The financial backing enabled the couple to expand Meander’s product line and attract interest from a number of major investors.

Following a successful year which saw revenues jump by 156%, Jill and Steve are now aiming to secure £150,000 investment to boost the business’ retail footprint across more locations in the UK, US and Europe. They are targeting revenues of £1.5m in 2024.

The brand was born out of Jill’s frustration with existing performance clothing not being stylish and versatile enough for every day wear. Five years on, its customers can now shop from its core collection of Scandi-inspired outdoor clothing – designed to be worn from city to mountain or bike to office.

Available to purchase in-store and online, Meander’s collection includes t-shirts, shorts, jackets and sweats, as well a range of accessories from Scottish brands that share their green values and ethos, including Tens sunglasses, Ooni pizza ovens and Kingdom Scotland perfumes.

The brand’s range is manufactured using recycled and low impact materials, which have been ethically sourced from factories in Scotland and Western Europe. Furthering its mission to make a positive impact on the environment, Meander offsets its carbon emissions by planting trees in Scottish woodlands and donating 1% of its annual sales to environmental charities as part of its partnership with 1% For The Planet.

Jill Henry said: “We’ve enjoyed a period of sustained success and growth over the past couple of years, but we’ve only just scratched the surface. As we prepare for the launch of the crowdfunding campaign, finance will remain a key component, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without the support and guidance we received from the British Business Bank and Virgin StartUp.

“Creating a brand that does the least possible harm will always remain at the core of our values. Meander is a brand for outdoor lovers and we want to do what we can to ensure we protect the planet that we love to explore. We use mostly recycled, natural and organic materials across our range, but we’re always looking for ways to do better and improve.”

Barry McCulloch, senior manager, UK Network, Scotland at the British Business Bank, said: “Meander Apparel is a great example of a local business that’s taking the next steps towards a greener future. We’re pleased to support a Scottish independent retailer that’s making a name for itself across UK high streets and showing there’s still a place for bricks-and-mortar retail, with plans to bring its ethical values to more customers across the globe.” 

As well as their Edinburgh store, Meander Apparel is also one of five Scottish businesses featured in a pop-up shop at the new Virgin Hotels Edinburgh. The Curiosity Shop showcases sustainable Scottish start-ups that have received funding through Virgin StartUp. Founders, including Jill and Steve, recently met and received business advice from Sir Richard Branson as he attended the official launch of the hotel in March this year.

Andy Fishburn, Managing Director at Virgin StartUp, added: “From the outset, Jill and Steve have put sustainability at the heart of their business. Their passion to do things differently and have a positive impact on the environment, while making a profit, has been unwavering. It’s always a pleasure to work with purpose-led businesses like Meander Apparel and support them on their journey to scale and succeed and we have no doubt that their crowdfunding campaign will be a huge success.”

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