The entire global economy is in flux because of COVID-19. The virus has sent a cataclysmic jolt through every facet of our lives and the uncertainty of when normalcy will return looms overhead. But one thing remains absolutely certain: we’re all in this together.
Community and support are thriving in this time of change. While many people are pressing pause on their normal lives, businesses are doing likewise. In the absence of regularity, businesses are shifting gears to offer support in this confusing time.
It is in this spirit that retailers and brands are stepping up. There are increased calls to repurpose resources and factories to help outfit healthcare providers with what they need to fight the virus. Some brands are donating non-healthcare products to frontline workers as a show of support and care. Others are giving shoutouts to small businesses in their communities, reminding us what might lose during this shutdown.
Here, we round-up some retailers who are dedicating their money, time, or resources to frontline and healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 and helping us maintain better social distance. This list will be updated regularly.
Brands making or procuring medical supplies
Knix’s founder and CEO Joanna Griffiths heard from her brother, a doctor in Ontario, Canada, that his hospital was running low on personal protective equipment for its staff. Griffiths’ company launched a GoFundMe campaign to purchase PPEs to frontline healthcare workers. The brand raised over $80,000—surpassing their $50,000 goal—to donate 100,000 units to 50 hospitals in need.
Sustainable shoe brand Rothy’s decided to turn the factories they own into innovation hubs, adapting to our new normal and to demand by other industries. In three days, according to the brand’s Instagram post, they were able to make a protective suit.
The brand is calling on their community and customers to brainstorm other ideas that their factories can potentially realize. Rothy’s started The Open Innovation Coalition to partner with other brands for “open-source sharing [of] knowledge with fellow manufacturers who are interested in producing similar items.”
The brand is currently working to source 100,000 non-medical masks for donation.
Swiss winery Delea is now making hand sanitizers available for consumer purchase, as well as donating 50L to hospitals in the country.
The tech accessory brand has shifted its priorities to medical workers. “Nomad has reprioritized our operations,” said the brand, “to provide medical supplies, like face masks, to those fighting this pandemic.”
The brand has directed its factories in Asia and North America, as well as its warehouse in Hong Kong, to quickly and efficiently get these resources to the hardest hit areas affected by the virus. Currently, medical masks are available for purchase.
The North Carolina fashion brand is repurposing its factories to create medical masks for hospitals. American Giant’s target goal is to make 35,000 masks per week. The brand has also formed a coalition with other brands, including Hanes, to produce 1 million masks per week.
A note on their website explains that they have “worked to retool our North Carolina facilities and retrain our team of remarkable seamstresses… We are making HHS-certified medical masks and distributing them to the front line medical personnel that are confronting this crisis”
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, FIGS created a dedicated application system and task force aimed specifically at helping healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic. FIGS has committed to donating 30,000 sets of scrubs to hospitals by the end of May.
Brands donating products to healthcare workers
New Zealand sustainable shoe brand put out a call to healthcare workers who need a pair of runners while they are fighting COVID-19. Allbirds has also made a point to communicate to their buyers how important it is to preserve and save small businesses during this time.
Beauty and skincare brand Josie Maran Cosmetics, founded by former model and actress Josie Maran, has donated 8,000 units of their body butter to first responders and healthcare workers on the frontlines fighting COVID-19.
Brands supporting the community
At the beginning of April, Kotn co-founder Benjamin Sehl tweeted out to his followers that he wanted the brand to start making masks out of 100% cotton material. Sehl aimed to create and supply 150,000 masks. Fast forward only a week-and-change later, and the brand announced a partnership with Toronto luxury retailer Holt Renfrew. Kotn will upcycle materials from past collections and, while working at home, alterationists from Holt Renfrew will make 1,000 to 2,000 masks per week. They aren’t medical grade but are meant to be additional protective measures for members of our communities.
Fashion brand Peace Collective identified that local food banks have been hit hard by the pandemic as food demand increases and volunteer hours decline due to self-isolation. For every garment sold from the brand’s Home Is collection, three meals
This article originally appeared in the Shopify Plus blog and has been published here with permission.