To say this year has been massive for Merchants would be a total understatement.
We started the year with big goals and bigger dreams, and we’re seeing it out with nothing but pride for our team and community. It’s hard to summarise the huge 12 months that we’ve watched and facilitated, but we’ll give it a crack.
JANUARY - APRIL
Early 2022 saw huge efforts to ready ourselves for upcoming collections. Between two collaborations, a planned shutdown and countless sustainability initiatives behind the scenes, the second half of the year was gearing up to be huge.
In May, we dropped our much anticipated collaboration with Coco Loberg. We’ve revered Coco's work for years, and to watch her create exclusive designs in silver form was a real pinch-me moment. After recovering from the Feeling Lucky launch, we hosted our inaugural customer survey, where we turned to you to answer our most burning questions. The data we received was nothing short of valuable, which we used to shape our decisions for the rest of the year.
On the 15th of July, we shut our doors and closed the online store. This came after months of conversation behind the scenes, and the intention was two-fold. Mostly, we wanted to make a statement about the ceaseless consumption that the wider fashion industry pushes. Secondarily, there was a whopping amount of work that we had to execute in taking the next strides towards becoming a genuinely sustainable brand, meeting the highest standards of ethics and certification available.
In mid-August, we relaunched and introduced you to our latest chapter. We celebrated our second brand birthday (time flies etc.) and dropped our most popular collection of the year, Mirage. We also established our Close The Loop returns program to kickstart circularity. Releasing products into the world never loses its sheen, and the ability to meet and mingle with our community only makes that exercise so much shinier.
In October, we dropped the second instalment of the Coco Loberg Collection, a gold rush of the previous designs. We shot with Coco herself in Sydney, showing off her fine line art in the studio with Josh Kaie behind the lens. Expanding our reach of collaborators is one of our priorities, and supporting the creative community is something we’ll endeavour to do in every way we can.
November saw a busy month of designing, shooting and collaborating, but our Anti-Black Friday protest was our major focus. On Friday, 26 November, we took a step back and refused to participate in Black Friday for another year. We don’t take our role and voice in our landscape lightly, and we’ll continue to speak against the damaging habits of the industry for as long as we are creating.
At the business end of the year, we welcomed hoards of new customers to the Merchants community thanks to the Furore Collection. Our final drop of the year demonstrates the culmination of 12 months of work and designing. The energy that went into Furore cannot be understated, with each piece representing a phase, emotion and moment in time. We also ventured into enamel jewellery for the first time, injecting colour into our Summer range. We have something for everyone, and we want you to find THE piece for you. We have one final announcement in the works and we hope we can end the year on a massive note - it was our one BIG goal for 2022. Stay tuned!
Last, but not least, I have endless thanks for you. Not a day goes by where I don’t feel the support and care of my customers who are so much more than just order numbers on a screen. Knowing that each piece is being sent out to experience various lives in all corners of the world reminds me of why I do what I do, and seeing your adventures makes me so proud of our community.
Here’s to 2023, with a whole lot more to come.