Detroit clothing brand Merit Goodness partners with Meijer to help send students to college
A Detroit-based apparel brand is given the opportunity to sell some of their pieces in one of the state’s largest retailers to support high school and college students.
Merit Goodness, a fashion brand founded in 2012, has two of their products on the shelves of Meijer’s two Detroit locations – t-shirts and hoodies with the words “Our City is Ours” and “Detroit Ain’t Done”.
The partnership comes about because Meijer has invested US $ 5 million to eradicate racial inequalities “in our communities,” said Rick Keyes, President and CEO of Meijer. Based in the Grand Rapids area, with annual sales of more than $ 500 million, the company has teamed up with 23 agencies as part of this effort.
Merit founder David Merritt, 35, said Meijer had donated to his FATE program and wanted to showcase the Merit shirts in stores. There is no set time for how long the products will be sold in stores. If the items sell well, they will be distributed to other Meijer locations.
“This is a test for us to see if (customers) like the collection,” said Merritt, who previously made most of its online sales. “We’ll have two designs in Meijer, including a student-designed piece. It’s a start. We can prove ourselves as we go along.”
The student-designed piece is from the FATE program, a cohort-based program established in 2012 for Detroit High School students from their freshman year. The sophomores produce collections, Merritt said, and are paid for their work. Last year, each student earned $ 200 for participating in the program. The piece designed by the students includes the phrase “Detroit is not finished”. The t-shirts are $ 25. Merit hoodies are $ 55.
“The students are excited to see their product in the store,” said Merritt. “It’s about motivating them and showing them how their creativity can affect the world.”
Merritt also uses its brand to make an impact.