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Fashion for the Frontlines: Brands that are Giving Back

Article-Fashion for the Frontlines: Brands that are Giving Back

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From cancelled orders to furloughs and temporary store closures, it’s no secret that every sector of the fashion industry has felt the effects of COVID-19. But many creatives have found a way to persevere—and serve others in the process.

Los Angeles apparel manufacturer Indie Source was in a bind.

As non-essential businesses around the city were ordered to close, founders Zack Hurley and Jesse Dombrowiak were faced with an unsettling dilemma: Find a way to do essential business, or remain closed—indefinitely. With a high-profile pre-COVID client list including Good American, Frame Denim and Pizza Hut, failure was not an option.

“We were definitely scared,” says Dombrowiak. “Everything we built was at risk.”

Fortunately, they found a creative solution. They partnered with Dr. Jordan Lee Tate, MD, MPH, to design and manufacture The Independence Mask, a one-of-a-kind filter-ready mask—with a mission. For each buy-one give-one mask purchased, one is donated to a service industry or healthcare professional in need.

Since pivoting, they have sold over 100,000 Independence Masks and active carbon filters, gifting products to high-risk individuals and hospital staff in Los Angeles and Hawaii.

“As a business owner, it’s a huge relief,” says Dombrowiak. “Our masks not only keep us in production and help our employees provide for their families, they also allow us to donate PPE to those on the front lines. And that’s something we all feel good about.”

Jene Park, CEO and Creative Designer of vintage t-shirt brand Recycled Karma, was eager to find a way to serve through her passion for design. She decided to donate a portion of proceeds from Recycled Karma’s aptly named “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” t-shirt to local charities and individuals impacted by COVID-19.

“T-shirts have always been statement pieces—especially during historical times of change and disruption. Creating this shirt sends a message to people to remember to be responsible about physical distancing and more importantly to take care of themselves and others.”

Her hopes about life and the industry post-pandemic? “I hope we all come out of this with more compassion, understanding, love and hope to make the world a better place.”

From jewelry designers gifting products to front line workers to t-shirt brands donating proceeds to Feed America, here are some of our favorite fashion companies going above and beyond to stay in business—and make a difference.

Brand: Indie Source
Product: Buy-One Give-One Masks and filters
Giveback: For every buy-one give-one mask sold, they will donate one to service industry or healthcare workers in need.

Brand: Recycled Karma
Product: Don’t Stand So Close To Me T-Shirt
Giveback: A portion of the proceeds of their Don’t Stand So Close To Me t-shirt go to local charities and individuals impacted by COVID-19.

Brand: 1302 Watch Co.
Product: Modern hand-crafted watches
Giveback: Donating 10% of sales to North Texas Food Bank until the end of May, plus 20% off all orders.

Brand: I’m With The Band
Product: LA-made, ‘60s and ‘70’s-inspired fashion for women
Giveback: Donating 10% of proceeds to Feed America and gifting products to first responders.

Brand: Often Wander
Product: Small batch natural soy candles, reed diffusers, bath & body and handmade jewelry
Giveback: Raising funds to benefit special programs for healthcare workers.

Brand: Hathorway
Product: Handcrafted sustainably luxe jewelry
Giveback: In the month of April, Hathorway offered anyone who made a purchase an additional item to give to a front line worker which they shipped directly and included a handwritten thank you note for free. They also donate 10% of profits to charities that empower women.      

Brand: Go Rings
Product: Handcrafted, ethically-made jewelry that equips those that do good in the world
Giveback:  Choose a cause at checkout to donate 30% of your purchase to (includes many Covid-19 relief charities). They are also rewarding good deeds. For those that post about social distancing, donating blood, checking in on loved ones, or promoting small business, Go Rings will send you a code for a free product.

Brand: Rose Gypsy
Product: Timeless sustainable jewelry
Giveback: 10% of proceeds go to Direct Relief (supplies for hospitals)



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