January 07, 2021 4 min read
The year started on a high at ISPO 2020 when Steve and I were invited out to Munich after being selected by the judges at ISPO Brandnew (one of the biggest, most respected competitions in the sports industry) as one of the top 50 newcomers! Whilst we didn’t win the final, we were very excited to be one of the few selected brands in the urban sports category and have the opportunity to rub shoulders with the top industry players. It was none other than our Recycled Parka that caught the judges eye and attracted the attention of buyers from around the world!
In March we were in Copenhagen for the Copenhagen Bike Show. However, for obvious reasons, it was cancancelled a couple of days before the event started! We went on the trip as planned as we love Copenhagen and decided to use the time for researching the beautiful stores/designs and Scandi way of life. We did doubt our decision to visit the country after one newspaper reported that Copenhagen was closing the borders to visitors coming in or out and along with many other tourists, we believed we were stuck in Copenhagen indefinitely. As much as I’m a fan of Scandinavian lifestyle, I’ve never wanted to get back to my Scottish homeland as much as I did that day!
When we returned to the UK we pretty quickly moved into a full lockdown. At that time we were trading mostly online and we weren’t adversely affected and wanted to do something to help.
We decided to donate profits from all sales to the WHO Covid 19 Response Fund and the NHS whilst the UK was in full lockdown. In April our campaign and sales took off after it was supported by celebs and press including, Sam Branson, Henry Holland and The Guardian. We had our busiest month of online sales to date and were delighted to contribute to two amazing charities.
Creating a brand with purpose and using business as a force for good is something we’re passionate about. Each year we donate to environmental charities by giving 1% of our sales back to environmental charities.
Black Friday weekend isn’t something that we take part in as we believe it promotes mass consumerism which isn’t good for the planet. Over the weekend we instead raised awareness and donated 10% of our sales to Marine Conservation Society, the UKs leading marine charity.
How could we not mention the Monocle interview! We were chuffed, delighted and terrified to be interviewed by Daniel Bach for the Monocle podcast earlier this year. As a fan of the podcast for some time and having been inspired listening to entrepreneurs and business leaders tell their stories, it was an absolute honour to be interviewed and tell our start up journey so far! If you missed it and would like a listen you can still check it outhere.
We went on a Scottish road trip and made two films
In September we went on a road trip, shot some amazing photography and made two films with the very talented photographer, Jay Gollian.
Our first film we shot with Emma, an Edinburgh based city girl with a passion for adventure, hiking and everything our city and Scotland has to offer. We hiked up Arthur's Seat for sunrise and did the shoot around various parts of the city, capturing perfectly what Meander is all about, from hiking to drinking espressos in the city to cycling in one fell swoop!
We headed to Glen Coe, Oban and Inverlonanan Bothies with Jay and Tristan Cameron Harper to do the next shoot and were incredibly lucky to strike gold again with the most beautiful autumnal day. Tristan is a Scottish mountaineer and wildlife photographer with the most amazing passion for exploring Scotland. It was such a privilege to work with him and Jay and capture his spirit for adventure and passion for Scotland whilst showcasing Meander.
We started the year on a mission to find a permanent store and were left pretty disappointed after a couple of deals fell through but we ended the last quarter of 2020 with a bang after finding the perfect pop up location on George Street in Edinburgh. We felt like we’d arrived when the Meander sign went up above our store alongside Sweaty Betty, LuluLemon and Helly Hansen! The pop up has been a huge success and we have met so many lovely people, from solo South Pole adventurer, Mollie Hughes, the loveliest Iona Adventuring, cyclists, too many wild swimmers to mention and just so many lovely customers going about your everyday adventures. When lockdown ends we can’t wait to welcome you all back to the store!
We were delighted to be able to host 5 Rings Coffee in our store and have the pleasure of hanging out with the Olympic champ trio behind this new coffee company. Callum Skinner, Owain Doule and Philip Hindes - all total legends and we’ll be rooting for Philip in Tokyo and Owain in the Giro.
Finally we’d like to give a big shout out to a new Edinburgh coffee shop and roastery, Argyle Place that opened up their business during the last lockdown and let us shoot in their stunning coffee shop! Edinburgh peeps - get yourself along to this place for some serious good coffee! They’re open for takeaway…
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