You can now shop Merit Goodness at local Meijer stores thanks to a new partnership between the Detroit clothing brand and supercenter chain. In late January, Merit Goodness announced the collaboration, which has resulted in an exclusive-line of the brand’s student-designed apparel to be carried in two Meijer locations in Detroit.
Prior to the partnership, Merit Goodness items were only available online and — for a brief period — at a pop-up at Twelve Oaks Mall. But now, people can also shop the brand’s unisex T-shirts and hoodies with the sayings “Detroit Ain’t Done” as well as “The City Is Ours” surrounding a graphic of The Spirit of Detroit at 1301 W. Eight Mile Road and 21431 Grand River Ave.
Founded in 2012 by Detroit native David Merritt, the “cause-by-design” apparel brand — which Merritt defines as product that is both stylish and comfortable and also making true impact — is an extension of his nonprofit, Give Merit. The organization is Merritt’s call-to-action to combat Detroit’s high school dropout rate with opportunities for the city’s youth to succeed personally and academically.
Give Merit does this through Fate, a four-year program that provides mentorship, workshops, and project-based learning for Detroit high schoolers. Each student that completes the program receives a $5,000 college scholarship. Even throughout the pandemic, Fate has continued its weekly programming virtually and currently serves 130 students.
“I just really wanted to expand opportunities for young people in the city,” Merritt says. “So much is thrown at them. I think as a community, we failed in offering enough opportunities for our young people to dream and to aspire. … So, we have a mission at Merit to help young people aspire; to help them and help them contribute.”
The apparel available at Meijer was designed by Fate students for previous Merit Goodness collections — the program participants design new collections that culminates their year-long studies on consumer behavior, product development, and working with brands such as Carhartt. Twenty percent of Merit Goodness’ profits funds Fate.
Locals can shop Merit Goodness apparel at Meijer indefinitely. The clothing brand is among 23 agency partnerships that Meijer, which has its headquarters in Grand Rapids, has invested $5 million in to address racial inequities. Merritt hopes to build upon his relationship with Meijer and expand Merit Goodness product to even more stores.
In the meantime, he encourages the community to head to Meijer and support the brand. “We’re just encouraging as many people as possible to check it out and to actually support the next generation of Detroit youth,” Merritt says. “We’re just trying to do our young people justice and serve them as best possible.”
For more information, visit givemerit.org