LONDON – Huel, the Hertfordshire-based start-up that offers vegan, lactose-free and soy-free meal replacements, is stepping into fashion with the launch of Huelwear, a clothing line that aims to “slow down the fashion cycle”, learned WWD.
The first drop of the collection will feature 19 seasonless pieces, priced between £25 and £120. It will launch globally on the Huel website in April.
With simple and functional black, white and gray workout essentials made with organic cotton and recycled nylons, such as hoodies, joggers, t-shirts, fleece jackets, beanies, caps and sports bras, Huelwear will offer sizes from XXS to XXXL, and a five-year warranty on every garment sold.
Julian Hearn, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Huel, thinks he can make his problem-solving approach fashionable in the food industry. He believes fashion is “another industry that needs to change dramatically if we are to protect the environment in which we all have a stake”.
The company said each product has been analyzed by Green Story, a platform that measures the environmental impact of products and offsets carbon footprints, to provide ratings that will be displayed on each product page.
A circular initiative will be launched later in 2022, Huel also revealed. It will allow end-of-life and second-hand products to be resold or fully recycled into new clothing.
Huel may be new to the fashion business, but he’s no stranger to branding and marketing.
As an incentive, new food customers receive a Huel logo t-shirt at checkout. The Huel t-shirt and water bottles have become badges of honor for young fitness-focused consumers to identify their own clan in the gym and on social media.
“Huelwear is a natural step for us. We have been making clothes for years and the feedback from our customers has always been very positive. But we’re an ethical company and we want to do better… All we’re looking to do right now is create something that creates 100 real fans. Then I hope they like Huelwear enough to tell their friends, and we reach more people. Our goal is only to make the best product possible, because we only want to put our name on something that we really believe in and are proud of,” Hearn told WWD.
Following the surge in business during the pandemic, the company has reportedly hired Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan to advise them on an initial public offering in London, according to the Financial Times.
Huel has been described as one of the UK’s most promising start-ups, offering meals such as cinnamon swirl drinks, which claim to have 22 grams of protein and are naturally sweet, and curry instant meals thai green.
The group reported revenue of £71.6 million for the financial year ending July 2020, up from £50.2 million a year earlier, according to documents filed by Companies House. Operating profit during the period was £700,000.
More than half of Huel’s sales come from from outside the UK, mainly from the USA, Japan and European countries including Germany, France and Spain.