By Daisy Wallis
We have spoken previously about the importance of supporting small sustainable brands during this difficult time. But, despite their current struggles, many independent fashion and beauty brands are giving back to their local communities and offering a range of fantastic initiatives to aid health services and the most vulnerable affected by the coronavirus.
From charitable donations to encouraging citizens to make protective masks, there are a wide variety of ways in which independent brands are offering their services to help.
We’ve put together a list of just some of the many independent brands spreading kindness and helping the efforts against COVID-19.
This beauty brand is on a mission to create the most effective, natural and sustainable beauty products in the world. Beauty Kitchen has already supplied the Scottish government with 50,000 units of hand sanitiser for vital front-line workers. They have also donated a further 230,000 units of beauty products, including full-sized products and hand cream sachets, to the NHS and charities like In Kind Direct and the London Ambulance Service.
On top of all this, the brand has also launched the first refillable hand sanitiser spray. The sanitiser is made with 62% non-GMO alcohol and high-grade antibacterial essential oils such as peppermint and aloe vera. The bottle, which comes in a 50ml bottle and 500ml refill bottle, is part of the brand’s Return Refill Repeat programme. The programme allows for used empty bottles and packaging to be sent back to the Beauty Kitchen to be used again in the next batch of products.
BOTTLETOP, the British sustainable fashion brand most known for its use of upcycled metal ring pulls to create unique accessories and bags, is currently donating 20% of net proceeds for every product sold online to charities fighting COVID-19.
The brand is also responsible for the #TOGETHERBAND. The bands are handmade in Nepal and are made from upcycled ocean plastic and decommissioned illegal firearms. They were originally designed to raise money for a range of different charities and causes, including, clean water and sanitation, quality education and gender equality. However, in response to the growing pandemic, all net proceeds from sales of the band will now be donated to the #TOGETHERFUND. A fund created to raise necessary funds for the COVID-19 Fund and the lifechanging programmes working to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The brand has also released a new #TOGETHERBAND, the TOGETHER AT HOME band in collaboration with the One World: Together At Home. The BOTTLETOP collection will not only raise necessary funds to combat the spread of the virus but is promoting the important message of working together by staying at home at this difficult time.
This London-based label was born out of designer Elliss Solomon’s desire to create fashion that used conscious design methods and minimal waste. In collaboration with Rayon Vert, the brand has designed instructions on how citizens across the UK can make scrubs for the NHS. The campaign, ‘SCRUB UP!’includes step-by-step guides on how to make the scrubs, a list of fabric suppliers and a list of hospitals accepting personal protective equipment.
As the brand suggests, “this is a national drive to get everybody and anybody involved, from experienced sewers to ‘give it a goers’” ELLISS’s ‘SCRUB UP!’ campaign is just another great example of how brands are making it even easier to get involved and help from your own home.
The East London based sustainable denim brand uses discarded and unwanted denim to create modern and functional pieces of denim. Currently, the brand is donating 15% from every sale to local charity, Made in Hackney. The charity believes that everyone should have access to healthy and affordable food that is good for people and the planet.
Whilst the charity usually runs a plant-based cookery school and events for the community in Hackney, they are currently delivering free plant-based, nutritional meals to those most vulnerable every day. The COVID-19 Emergency Food Service is currently only available to Hackney residents, but the charity are hoping that with more funding and donations they will be able to launch the programme in neighbouring boroughs.
Mayamiko works with artisans from Malawi to Milan and uses slow and traditional forms of craftsmanship to produce sustainable and transparent collections. Rooted in helping the environment and local communities across the world, the brand works closely with a number of charities and towards many important causes. For instance, all cutting room waste is upcycled, either into scrunchies and headbands or into ‘Positive Pads’ which are donated to girls in the Malawi community and refugee camps, to help fight against period poverty.
Mayamiko is also one of the first brands to use QR code technology for greater transparency. Consumers are encouraged to scan the codes of each of the items in the collections to learn about who made their clothes, a feature that is very much in support of the Fashion Revolution #whomademyclothes initiative.
The brand has also launched a series of initiatives in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Mayamiko have already sent all of their tailors, and artisans’ home for safety with the materials and resources to produce double layer reusable face masks. Consumers across the world can sponsor one of these colourful face masks for just £2 to help vulnerable communities.
They are also providing lockdown diversions like zero waste scrunchie making tutorials and are currently in the process of making downloadable digital patterns that you can follow at home. Through their creative and unique initiatives, Mayamiko is giving back to the environment and communities that help make their beautiful collections.
Kindness when we need it most.
In a time of crisis, these independent brands, along with so many others, are offering new and inventive ways for people to work together from their homes. The fact that these small sustainable brands are using their platforms for good is yet another reason why we should be supporting them in the current economic climate.