With many industries in crisis as the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, our worries, both health and financial, are at an all-time high. But what we at Avant have loved seeing is brands who have stepped up to help those affected by the crisis, from frontline workers to struggling businesses to those suffering with their mental health. Rather than focus on the ever-frightening news that the pandemic seems to bring each day, we’ve brought you our round-up of positive initiatives and incentives by brands that we think will really make a difference to people during these unprecedented times.
The fashion industry has rallied round in recent weeks, with numerous designers and manufacturers jumping on board to make personal protective equipment for those working on the frontline as well as the public, including Boden, Sandro, Reformation, Revolve, H&M and Mango.
Meanwhile, focusing on others affected by the lockdown, Net-A-Porter has volunteered vans from its premier delivery fleet in London to Age UK, to help deliver essentials to those in need, while Kurt Geiger asked employees, who have been kept on full pay whilst stores are closed, to get involved with neighbourly volunteering schemes, also in alignment with Age UK.
Pretty Little Thing CEO Umar Kamani has also pledged his personal support, promising to donate his March salary to helping small businesses through the tough climate, and asking his followers for their suggestions of companies that are most in need of his support.
In a bid to support bricks-and-mortar shops that have been forced to close, Ebay has offered free services via its Up & Running initiative. Businesses can benefit from the platform free of charge for three months, with no selling fees, as well as educational webinars and business support.
With school closures affecting many families and young people, there’s been no shortage of initiatives from brands looking out for those impacted. Skillshare is offering its premium membership free for two months to high school and college students, to enable them to learn new skills at home, whilst Heinz has teamed up with Magic Breakfast to provide 12 million free breakfasts for schoolchildren who still need them (and would have attended their breakfast clubs previously), covering one meal a day, five days per week for the next eight weeks.
After seeing sales increases of upwards of 100% as shoppers stock up on pantry essentials, Vita Coco has announced it will donate $1 million of its profits during the pandemic to hunger charities that will allocate essential resources to communities in need. Brand founder Michael Kirban has encouraged other brands in similar positions to do the same. In another generous move, Brewdog has reacted to the hand sanitiser shortages by producing sanitising gel at its distillery in Scotland, and giving the product away to those that need it.
We’ve also seen big brands promote the government’s advice on social distancing, with Nike teaming up with sports elite including Cristiano Ronaldo and Tiger Woods on a campaign pushing the slogan ‘If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance. Play inside, play for the world’, while ITV’s #BritainGetTalking has featured stars such as Ant and Dec and Davina McCall encouraging people to stay indoors, keep talking and look after each other, to help promote mental wellbeing.
– Ellen Kelly, Director and Co-Founder