The coronavirus crisis has affected millions of small businesses. Many have been forced to shutter their storefronts, and some e-commerce sites suffer as consumers change their buying habits. Nate Checketts, founder of menswear startup Rhone, saw firsthand the pain his fellow businesses were suffering. “I saw the impact this was having on our businesses, and everyone was going through the same challenges,” he said. “I realized maybe there was a way to help.”
In this article
- How brands join Brands x Better
- How brands choose which nonprofits to support
- Brands x Better brands
This led Checketts to create the Brands X Better coalition, which includes Rhone and 26 other startups and small businesses. The initiative aims to elevate awareness of the participating brands, Checketts explained, who in turn will donate a portion of their sales to nonprofits aiding the crises. The brands currently making up the coalition sell in product categories ranging from outdoor apparel to home goods and tech. If you shop from these brands throughout April, between two and 10 percent of the sale amount will then be donated to one of the many supporting nonprofits, from Direct Relief to City Harvest. Some companies are also offering additional incentives for customers, like discounts or bundle deals.
“It’s a common thread in the space, especially during these times, that rather than compete we all feel we’re stronger together,” said Reshma Chamberlin, co-founder of Summersalt, one of the participating brands. “We know there’s power in numbers, and felt it was important to join the coalition to do our part to help foster stability as well as give back to those in need.”
How brands join Brands x Better
In order to join the coalition, a brand must commit to giving a minimum of two percent of direct sales or 10 percent of total revenue to nonprofits that are helping support COVID-19 efforts. The nonprofits either focus directly or indirectly on the social and economic impact of COVID-19, Checketts told NBC News. For example, Direct Relief focuses on providing personal protective equipment and essential medical items, directly impacting the lives of health workers. YouthCare, in contrast, focuses on helping homeless youth, providing shelter and educational support for those displaced by school closures.
So far, “reaction has been unbelievable,” said Checketts. Over 50 brands have applied via the coalition’s online application portal, and many more have reached out over social media. Notably, the Brands x Better coalition isn’t the only set of fashion companies to give back during the crises.
- Inditex, the parent company of Zara, is producing and shipping thousands of surgical masks to hospitals in Spain, for example.
- And Ralph Lauren is donating $10 million to a variety of charitable organizations, including the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
- Some notable beauty brands have similar efforts.
How brands choose which nonprofits to support
All participating brands get to choose their own nonprofit to support, though many have chosen to donate to Direct Relief and WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The range of organizations offer a broad spectrum of support, from helping homeless youth to directly donating bed sheets and masks to local hospitals.
“We originally wanted to set higher donation thresholds — we wanted to have the maximum impact,” Checketts said. “But these brands come from a broad spectrum, and some have higher margins than others. Some brands may be hurting more than others. We didn’t want to hurt anyone’s bottom line.” Here are all of the nonprofits that coalition brands are donating to:
- 1% For The Planet
- Bowery Mission
- City Harvest
- Cotopaxi Foundation
- COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization
- Direct Relief
- Food Allergy Research & Education
- International Rescue Committee’s COVID-19 Crises Fund
- Meals on Wheels
- No Kid Hungry
- NYC’s COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund
- Relief Haven
- Squash Haven
- Steve Nash Foundation
- Walter Reed Society
Brands x Better brands promising to donate to coronavirus relief efforts
Below, we list every brand in the Brands x Better coalition, in alphabetical order, along with how much they’re donating and to whom.
The bedding company is donating 10 percent of proceeds to the production of mattresses and pillows for emergency medical operations, along with bed linen donations to hospitals. Use code GOODNESS to get an extra 10 percent off sitewide.
The screen protector brand is donating ten percent of proceeds to Relief Haven, a nonprofit supporting hospitals and small businesses. Use code BETTER TOGETHER to trigger the donation and get 10 percent off your order.
The macro-based meal prep company is donating two percent of sales to Direct Relief. Use code CSE15 to get $15 off any meal plan.
The outdoors apparel company is donating one percent of sales to its own Cotopaxi Foundation, which provides funds to the International Rescue Committee’s COVID-19 Crises Fund. It’s also offering customers 10 percent off their orders.
5. Dagne Dover
The popular bag and accessories brand is offering shoppers and donating 10 percent of proceeds to one of three charity options: CDC Foundation, Feeding America or Save the Children.
The technology brand company is providing its media budget and resources to support Mount Sinai and GetUsPPE.org’s COVID-19 relief efforts, providing protective equipment for healthcare workers.
7. Enso Rings
The silicone ring company is giving 100 percent of proceeds to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.
The clothing company is donating two percent of sales to NYC’s COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund. Shoppers also get 25 percent off all purchases.
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The popular footwear company is donating $15 from every order will go to City Harvest, a food rescue nonprofit.
10. Harrow Sports
The sports equipment company is donating two percent of proceeds to Squash Haven, an organization helping New Haven youth. Shoppers also get 20 percent of all purchases.
11. Knot Standard
The luxury menswear brand will donate 10 percent of proceeds to the creation and distribution of masks to Mount Sinai and Montefiore Medical Centers, in addition to donating to distribution partners like UPS. Customers also get 10 percent off their purchase.
12. Kopari Beauty
The beauty company is donating $1 per transaction to Direct Relief. Shoppers will also get free shipping and a free toothpaste gift with their purchase.
The outdoor apparel company is donating 10 percent of proceeds to Relief Haven. Use code BETTERTOGETHER to get 10 percent off of any order.
The Italian footwear startup is donating 10 percent to Direct Relief. Use code MAGIC10 to get 10 percent off sitewide.
The online tech store is donating 10 percent of proceeds to Relief Haven. Use code BETTERTOGETHER to get 10 percent off any order.
The travel gear brand is giving two percent of online sales to the International Rescue Committee’s COVID-19 Crises Fund. The retailer is also offering 15 percent or more off select items.
The vegan protein drink company is giving 2 percent of sales to support Food Allergy Research & Education.
The sunglasses company is donating 10 percent of sales to Meals on Wheels, which provides meals to the elderly. Shoppers will also get 20 percent off all purchases.
The online denim retailer is donating two percent of sales to the Walter Reed Society, which supports the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Customers will also get free shipping and free returns.
The men’s activewear brand is donating 10 percent of its proceeds to Direct Relief, a nonprofit providing personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers. Additionally, if you spend more than $200, you get $100 in credits for your next purchase.
The children’s apparel brand is giving two percent of all sales to the Good+Foundation, which aids those in poverty. Some items are additionally marked 40 percent off for shoppers, and those who buy six or more items will get an extra 25 percent off.
The travel blanket company is giving two percent of sales to 1% For The Planet, an environmental nonprofit. The company is also giving shopper a free Beer Blanket with any purchase over $49.
The womenswear store is donating $15 from every order of $125 or more to No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit providing meals for kids. The store is offering some items at 25 percent off for shoppers, and giving away a free Scrunchie with purchase.
24. Super Coffee
The coffee retailer is donating three percent of all sales to Bowery Mission, a homeless shelter in New York City. Use code BRANDSXBETTER to get 20 percent off any order.
The size-inclusive, gender-inclusive undergarment company is donating two percent of proceeds to YouthCare, supporting homeless youth. Shoppers can get 10 to 15 percent off underwear and bras.
The women’s fashion company is donating two percent of online sales to Direct Relief. Customers get 10 percent off their order.
27. Wolf & Shepherd
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