Inherit the Earth Apparel: Starter Company Plus Success Story
Inherit the Earth Apparel owned by Pete Meades is an environmentally conscious running and recovery wear company. Encouraging environmental stewardship in their mission, the running and activewear clothing company is based out of Holmesville and their clothing line is available online through their website, at Runner Choice Waterloo, and at pop-up shops and fun runs throughout Ontario.
At the start of the pandemic, Pete and his wife Heidi realized that their racing plans for the year would be cancelled and they would no longer be able to participate as the border closed. Instead, Pete signed up for The Great Virtual Race Across Tennesse. Pete had from May 1st to Labour day to run 1000 km and he finished the race within six weeks.
As he ran different routes throughout Huron County, he noticed the garbage that was piling up in the ditches and was disheartened. “Given that we had more time, I wanted to put together a challenge, so I came up with the idea to run every single road in Huron County and push a running chariot and pick up garbage along the way,” said Pete.
Pete pitched the idea to local businesses who would sponsor 150 km of clean roads and he got started running. “Through the community project, I started to understand more about what is and isn’t recycled here and at first, I was quite naive about how the recycling business actually works. Through this process, we decided to start a clothing company that was environmentally sustainable and connected to both fitness and creating eco-friendly garments,” explained Pete.
At the same time, Pete and Heidi connected with Huron College from Western University and established a five-year commitment to their Environmental Stewardship in the 21st Century degree and created a bursary for the program. “The impetus of what we are doing is trying to create change through the next generation and directing resources to the minds that may elevate consciousness is the way we want to spend our money,” said Pete.
Inherent the Earth Apparel was a part of the Starter Company Plus program offered by Huron County Economic Development and the recipient of a micro-financing grant to assist with start-up costs and marketing expenses. “Being a part of the program forced us to take a hard look at the areas of the business that we probably wouldn’t have examined. Creating a business plan and the details that you have to sew together to make it concrete was super crucial,” Pete explained.
Pete found the forecasting training to be particularly helpful, “You have a vision for your business and you have your goals, but forecasting breaks down the how-tos, so you know how you can get there. It’s ever-changing, but I learned a really good step-by-step process to help me see the vision through.”
Pete also explained that he was blown away by the training components of the program. “The resources that they offer are super helpful and highlighted areas that I hadn’t even been thinking about. The training took each portion of the business and makes you better equipped to handle it. Specifically for us, we had some ideas in each area, but it takes your knowledge to the next level. And that is key for anyone starting out or who needs help updating their business knowledge. When you own a small business, things are constantly changing and the program allows you to keep learning and developing your knowledge,” said Pete.
To explore Inherit the Earth Apparel’s clothing line, visit their website at iterunning.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on pop-up shops and future community clean-up events.
Interested in being a part of the Starter Company Plus program? Click here for more information.
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