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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
- Other brands donating to COVID-19 efforts
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.
Nor are these the only companies worth mentioning. Since first publishing this article last week, we've been compiling and adding other brands who are donating some way to relief efforts — you'll find all of that below.
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.
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 mattress and bedding company is dedicating 10% of their net proceeds to building and distributing their mattresses to relieve bed shortages in care facilities nationwide.
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.
25. 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.
28. Wolf & Shepherd
Other brands donating to COVID-19 relief efforts
The sustainable footwear company donated $500,000 worth of shoes to healthcare workers responding to COVID-19. While supplies last, you can opt into the "Buy a Pair, Give a Pair" initiative. Add a pair of shoes to your cart and Allbirds will automatically add a $51 donation to provide another pair of shoes to someone on the frontlines.
2. B&H Video
The photo, video and pro-audio brand is working with their suppliers to donate gear to teams at New York City hospitals.
The high-performance outdoor gear company is donating 9,000 masks to the NYC Department of Homeless Services and frontline workers. Every $3 donation roughly translates to a mask donation. Use code 20FULLPRICE to get 20 percent off one full-priced item.
The razor and personal care brand is dedicating $100,000 to food banks across the U.S. to help those affected by COVID-19.
The pet goods retailer partnered with GreaterGood.org to improve the health and well-being of people, pets and the planet. They have also donated more than $1.7 million in healthcare supplies, pet food and other products to animal welfare organizations that have been affected by COVID-19. On every auto-ship order, you can save an extra 5-10 percent.
The beauty and skincare company is donating 50,000 skin care products to doctors and nurses in New York City hospitals.
The Coach Foundation is partnering with Goldman Sachs and New York Ccity to donate a total of $2 million in funds to small businesses affected by COVID-19.
The creative technology company is challenging the community to make two million face masks for family, friends and essential workers. They are donating over 150 Cricut fabric cutting machines to community members to help reach their goal. As of today, over 500,000 face masks have been made.
Dyson is producing and donating 5,000 ventilators to COVID-19 patients in need.
11. Eddie Bauer
Eddie Bauer is pivoting production to create 20,000 surgical-grade masks for the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services. The masks will be distributed to hospitals.
12. Eileen Fisher
The women's apparel brand is partnering with the Economic Development Corporation to create masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, EMS workers, local police and fire departments.
Fanatics stopped production on jerseys to dedicate their facilities to making polyester masks. They aim to produce one million masks to support hospitals in Pennsylvania and nearby states.
The apparel company is creating masks, gowns and scrubs at their production facilities to donate to California hospitals.
The non-profit H&M Foundation will donate $500,000 to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to help detect and respond to the pandemic. If you spend $60 on the site, you will receive $10 to donate to charity.
17. The Home Depot
The hardware retailer donated its entire stock of N95 masks to hospitals, first responders and other healthcare providers, as well as millions of dollars in personal protective equipment to aid workers on the frontline.
This candle company is donating 10 percent of proceeds to support vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19. Right now you can save 10 percent on any order under $59 and 15 percent on orders above $59.
19. John Elliott
Lowe’s is donating $25 million to support the needs of their customers, associates and communities, including a $10 million toward providing essential protective products to medical professionals.
M.A.C Cosmetics is donating $10 million to over 250 local organizations that support vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19. When you purchase the Viva Glam Lipstick, 100 percent of the selling price will go to support at-risk communities.
22. New Balance
The athletic shoe and apparel company is donating $2 million in nonprofit grants to support local, regional and global communities compromised due to COVID-19.
Nordstrom teamed up with Kaas Tailored, a manufacturing facility focused on producing sustainable products, to sew more than 100,000 masks. The masks will be distributed to Providence Health and Services.
Otherland candle company is donating 10 percent of sales to local food banks in New York in response to the coronavirus. Enter code SUNSHINE to save 10 percent on your order.
The tech accessories brand is donating 100 percent of every sale of the Open Your Heart grips to Feeding America. In addition, 100 percent of every sale of the PopSockets Dogtor will go to Doctors Without Borders to help medical workers.
Rails, a refined apparel company, has secured 10,000 medical-grade and FDA-approved KN95 masks to be donated to local hospitals.
The women's sustainable fashion company partnered with the City of Los Angeles to make masks for essential workers. Support the cause by donating five non-medical grade masks to essential workers through their site.
The sustainable shoe company is making a bulk donation of 100,000 non-medical masks and supporting workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 through a $20,000 donation to Direct Relief.
This smart home company is donating soap and touch-free soap pumps to community organizations and hospitals. So far the brand has donated more than 2,000 pumps and 2,000 liters of soap to hospitals, rescue missions, medical centers, retailers and Direct Relief.
Theragun is donating a portion of sales to Feeding America. With every Theragun sold, they are also donating 100 meals to people across America with a goal of donating 250,000 meals.
31. Thrive Market
Thrive Market set up a COVID-19 relief fund to help families affected by the pandemic. They are also providing free memberships to over 1,600 families impacted by the coronavirus.
32. Under Armour
The athletic apparel brand pledged to donate $1 million to Feeding America and $1 million to Good Sports. They are also producing over 500,000 masks, thousands of gowns and 1,000 face shields to hospital workers. Now, save 25 percent sitewide with code WFH25.
The apparel company is making 10 million surgical masks to be delivered to frontline workers of COVID-19.
Wayfair and Kelly Clarkson are partnering to donate 25 percent of profits from Kelly Clarkson Home to support COVID-19 relief efforts. The collection includes items over 65 percent off the original price.
Zappos teamed up with Crocs to spearhead the "Free Pair for Healthcare" initiative which helps healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID 19. Zappos helps with the shipping and distribution while Crocs provides the shoes. Together, they're donating a free pair of shoes to medical professionals. The company is also providing meals to the elderly and most vulnerable, and donating to food banks.