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IN CONVERSATION WITH JOHN BRIGHT OF THE GOOD NEIGHBOUR
John Bright started the good neighbour believing there was a gap in the market between mass produced fast-fashion and premium menswear brands. He questioned where the middle ground was, offering clothes that were made to last, but didn’t cost the Earth. The menswear business provides updated wardrobe staples with great fabrics, that are ethically and sustainably sourced, and conscious of trends and quality, their products are designed to be worn across all seasons. Starting life in 2018 as ‘centre front menswear’ the brand appeared online and in pop-up shops around London. This is where John discovered that many neighbourhoods had more of a buzz than traditional high streets, which is where he got the idea for ‘the good neighbour’ where he often collaborates with local artists and helps small landlords fill empty spaces, even if it’s just for a few weeks.
In a recent episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interviewed John Bright, Founder of the good neighbour about his fashion industry background and how he started his own menswear brand which began online before focussing on pop-up retail. Our host Peter Brooker and John talked about why being direct-to-consumer brings the customer a fairer price, manufacturing home and abroad, the benefits of short-term retail space on both branding and eCommerce sales, neighbourhoods vs high street shopping, and making clothes from deadstock material.
“I spent about 20 years working in different places in menswear as a buyer. I realised there was a bit of a gap in the menswear market because you've got a lot of mass produced, not particularly well-made clothes, and then you've got a lot of really nice brands like Universal Works and Folk. But there's a really big jump between the price points between those different types of brands. I was questioning where the brands that were made to last, targeting a 30 plus demographic, but not charging a fortune for the product were. That's where the idea of the brand came from. We’re putting a lot into the product but charging a fair price to the customer. We don't do wholesale and we’re direct to the public, which means we can offer the product at a fair price for what you're getting."
"It’s very much about putting the product together and working with the design team to create the range as opposed to going out and buying an existing brand. I think with menswear, you're not necessarily redesigning, it's more about how it's going to fit, the fabric you use, and the small details. We've been doing pop-up shops since 2019 when we started doing it because it was really hard to get people onto the website. I had done a market stall and it was really good, so I thought, let's try a pop-up shop. I find that you get a lot of interested people coming in and then subsequently from that an increase in online orders from the surrounding postcodes of where the shop is located.”
This is a shortened transcribed edit of episode 148 of the MenswearStyle Podcast with John Bright, Founder of thegoodneighbourshop.com. You can listen to the full version below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favourite podcast player.