Independent UK streetwear brand Fresh Couture has secured a £250,000 investment to bring its design in house and drive ecommerce sales.
Last year, it secured key wholesale accounts with JD Sports, Footasylum and DV8. It has a further 50 independent accounts, while its ecommerce site accounts for 50% of sales.
The new funding comes from the North East Growth Capital Fund, and more is more in the pipeline for 2021. The fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and is designed to increase investment and jobs in the north-east of England.
Fresh Couture will initially use the investment to expand its team from five to ten people during the current financial year. This will include an in-house garment technologist and design team members with the aim of produce online-only product to be sold on Fresh Couture’s website. Currently, co-founder Nathan Malcolm produces design ideas that are sent to an external design consultant.
The brand’s new chief operating officer, Dale Parr, told Drapers: “Because we’ve grown quite rapidly, there has been a lot of external influence through distribution partners, and we want to have a bit more control over the product so [ecommerce customers] have something exciting while still keeping the wholesale customer interested.”
Online exclusives are intended to grow the brand’s own sales.
Fresh Couture manufacturers in Turkey. However, Parr told Drapers the expected 2021 investment will be focused on new plant machinery at the brand’s Newcastle headquarters to increase customisation elements.
Wholesale prices range from £12 for a T-shirt to £24 for an outerwear piece.