New ethical clothing and gift shop, Frankly, to join independent community at Wapping Wharf

Helen Symonds at her new unit at CARGO

Frankly, an ethical charitable clothing and gift shop, is the latest exciting new addition to join Wapping Wharf.

Helen Symonds, who has worked in mainstream retail for over 16 years, is behind the business Frankly, which will open its first shop in CARGO 2 in the coming weeks.

Passionate about retail, Helen had recently found herself falling out of love with the traditional consumerist model as she noticed how motivated it was by driving up sales and down costs, encouraging people to buy ‘more of what they don’t want or need’.

When she began researching more ethical brands, she noticed how a lot of them were very expensive and out of reach for most people.

This led to the creation of Frankly, which uses a new retail model that has a fairer split of profits, focuses on the quality and story behind products and aims to be more sustainable for people and the planet.

Helen said: “We want to encourage people to buy less but buy better. Everything we sell gives back in some way, from products produced by people in vulnerable groups supported through training, to brands giving a percentage of their sales to charity.

“I wanted to find a fairer and kinder retail model, so rather than buying multiple, mass produced gifts, you can buy a one-of-a-kind product that is not only a beautiful item, but also has made a difference. You get to give back; you get to feel good.

“When I decided to open a shop, I was delighted to see Wapping Wharf had an upcoming vacancy, as its community spirit fits perfectly with the vision behind Frankly. I can’t wait to open, but I’m slightly worried I will spend my whole time eating, surrounded by such amazing restaurants and cafes!”

Frankly sells a range of products including clothing, accessories and gifts. Each product has a story and each brand is chosen carefully because of its contribution to making positive change. For example, sales from their t-shirts go towards Bristol-based charity Lovewell that supports vulnerable women. For every bar of Kushboo soap sold, another is donated to a charity or foodbank. When you buy a recycled stationery product from the VENT for Change range, you’re supporting worldwide education programmes.

Stuart Hatton, managing director at Umberslade, the developer behind Wapping Wharf, said: “We’re very happy that Frankly is joining the Wapping Wharf neighbourhood and wish them all the best with their exciting new venture. The concept chimes perfectly with the ethos of Wapping Wharf; we were impressed with their innovative business model that’s looking to change people’s buying habits with its clear social purpose.”

Frankly will open in Unit 5 of CARGO 2, previously home to Mabboo, which is now consolidating its Bristol operations to its Galleries flagship store.

Wapping Wharf is in the heart of Bristol’s historical and cultural quarter, with its tree-lined pedestrian and cycle route, Gaol Ferry Steps, providing an important connection between south Bristol to the city centre.

Now home to over 40 independent businesses, many of which are based within CARGO – a popular hub made of converted shipping containers, Wapping Wharf features some of the city’s best independent restaurants, shops, cafes and lifestyle businesses.