@meridian_lee // Worldwide
Meridian – a great circle on the surface of the earth passing through the poles. Lee – an area sheltered from the wind.
After working in fashion for 15 years, and gaining insight on poor labor and manufacturing processes, I decided to shop brands that created equitable opportunity for everyone in the supply chain. It was 2010, when I decided to buy only ethically made Christmas gifts. But it wasn’t easy to find what I wanted to buy. Most of what I found was too bohemian for my friends and family. Shortly after this, I started working as a product developer for a non-profit that employs women who are coming out of trafficking and other hardship.
Through this non-profit, I traveled all over the world and met first hand with amazing artisans. Soon, other organizations started asking me to work with them to develop products, but I still saw a gap in the market for classic shapes and modern styles that were ethically made. So I asked my directors for permission to continue working with the artisans, while starting my own company, Meridian Lee, with the goal of designing for people with a classic, modern style and to provide work for this talented network of artisans.
We launched Meridian Lee in 2014 while working with non-profits who were aiding women coming out of human trafficking. The women we were meeting were highly skilled artisans and needed help connecting with the market. We saw a gap in the fair trade market for clean, modern, functional styles that are less bohemian.
All of our products are the result of close collaborations with the women we work with. We’ve seen first hand how collaborating on designs has a powerful healing and empowering effect for women who have been abused and treated as less than human. It’s really inspiring to see them building new lives for themselves and their children.