How Ecommerce Brands Are Helping Fight COVID-19 (Coronavirus) + Resources for Those in Need
March 23, 2020
With COVID-19 (Coronavirus) evolving at such a rapid pace, the ShipBob team wants to help those in need. We aim to educate the impacted communities with offers from ecommerce brands and other companies that are available to them during this trying time.
We’ve aggregated offers below from those close to us to highlight free resources for those who are helping in the front lines — healthcare providers, fulfillment center associates, grocery store workers, and any others across the ecommerce supply chain who are working hard for the greater good.
Note: If you’re looking for ShipBob’s COVID-19 status, please find our updates here.
Table of contents
Use these core sections to find resources available to each specified group:
- For healthcare professionals
- For small ecommerce brands
- For local businesses
- For entrepreneurs
- For ShipBob employees
- For anyone else in need
For healthcare professionals
Here’s what some brands are doing specifically for healthcare workers.
Free snacks: Verb Energy Bars
Verb Energy is offering to send a free bag of their caffeinated energy bars to anyone in healthcare working long hours in the hospital right now.
Verb Energy has already donated more than 500,000 bars to more than 15,000 healthcare workers on the front lines in all 50 states. For every 2 Verb Bars sold, the Verb team is sending 1 Verb Bar to healthcare workers for the entire month of April. ShipBob is donating $1 for every Verb Energy order.
They’ve set the goal to send half a million Verb Bars to healthcare workers across the country. If you wish to contribute (as little as one bar), 100% of your Verb Bar donations will go directly to healthcare workers. Donate here.
If you’d like to help out, you can text the Verb line at 415-915-8372 to order Donation Pouches at the standard Flex price, and they’ll make sure they get to the people working tirelessly to help those in need.
They have received an unbelievable number of stories from brave nurses, doctors, and others. Here are a few:
Free meals: Sweetgreen
Sweetgreen is offering free meals to healthcare workers and first responders in the coming days. They will deliver free, fresh salads and bowls to hospitals in the cities they serve: DC Area, Philadelphia, Boston, NYC, SF, LA, Chicago, and Houston. Submit your hospital here.
Free scrubs: Figs
Figs has committed to donating 30,000 scrubs to US hospitals over the next two months, while also coordinating donations for meal services, childcare, and care packages for workers on the front lines.
Free shoes: Allbirds & Crocs
Allbirds is helping the US healthcare community by donating a pair of Tuke Matcha Wool Runners as a small token of their appreciation for being on the front lines and helping to keep our communities healthy. Email [email protected] for a pair of Wool Runners while supplies last.
Cros also announced a program to donate 10,000 pairs of their waterproof, easily washable shoes a day to healthcare workers fighting against the novel coronavirus. They are delivering some directly to hospitals, but healthcare workers can sign up for the free shoes by going to Crocs.com/freeforhealthcare as long as supplies last.
Free personal care products: Hiki
Arfa, a DTC brand set to launch last week, launched in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic. But instead of selling products, the company gave away their products to hospital and medical facility workers for free (they can get any two Hiki items for free as long as they pay $2.50 to cover part of credit card processing, packing, and shipping costs). Read more here.
Free mattresses for hospital beds: Serta Simmons Bedding
Serta Simmons Bedding committed to donating 10,000 mattresses to New York City hospitals and temporary medical facilities fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in need of hospital beds.
Free freight shipping of PPE to healthcare workers: Mothership
As companies and organizations donate masks, gloves, respirators, and other protective equipment to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, freight company Mothership is stepping up to provide its shipping services.
Mothership’s Freight Support Program offers complimentary and discounted shipping to companies donating essential goods to hospitals, healthcare workers, and food banks combating COVID-19. Supported shipments include medical supplies, PPE, and food items, all of which are helping our communities during these difficult times. Read more on Mothership’s COVID-19 Action Plan blog post here.
Free snacks: KEHO
KEHO is donating its real food savory snacks in bulk to hospitals, hospices, homeless, and food banks across the US, such as Mount Sinai, NYU Langone, and Kaiser Permanente, working through individual doctors, nursers, admins to make this happen fast. If you know of anyone in need, you can let them know. Given the stay at home extensions, KEHO extended the KEHOFRIENDS 20% discount to the end of April and introduced a free (plus shipping) sampler pack to keep everyone snacking healthy at home.
Free probiotics: Jetson
First-time buyers of any Jetson product will receive a code good for a free bottle of Immunity to send to a front-line worker who is keeping America moving. They could be the stock clerk at your local grocery store, your surgeon sister working double duty in the hospitals, your mail carrier, a warehouse worker you know, or the person at the local coffee shop. Head here to buy one and give one.
If you’re doing your part to keep our country running during the COVID-19 crisis, email [email protected], explaining your line of work, and they will get Immunity shipped to you, free of charge.
Jetson has even donated product to local ShipBob fulfillment associates who are on the front lines getting essential products fulfilled in a timely manner.
Many brands are donating masks to frontline workers that they pivoted to create during the coronavirus.
Give Back Mask
Give Back Mask is on a mission is to deliver masks to those who need them, from shelters to nursing homes and anyone on the front lines helping us through this crisis. When you buy a pack of Give Back Masks, the organization will send masks to an organization in need. Learn more here.
Move The Needle
Move The Needle has donated over 70,000 masks to qualified healthcare, public safety, and essential commercial organizations. As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization mobilized to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic founded by a consortium of healthcare, research, technology, design, and manufacturing organizations, their core mission is to rapidly develop, manufacture, and improve on existing fabric mask designs. All of their mask designs, patterns, and templates are free for anyone to use.
They also a ShipBob customer and even donated dozens of reusable PPE masks to the fulfillment center their product is currently in. Their partner organization, MD Shield, Inc. is responsible for developing the PPE technology.
Free hand sanitizer and medical supplies
Countless alcohol, beer, and spirit producers are using their facilities to create hand sanitizers that they are distributing to those in need. Many large brands are also using their factories to make hand sanitizer since they already have bottles and ingredients.
LVMH will use its perfume and cosmetics factories (normally used for Christian Dior, Givenchy, and other luxury brands) to manufacture free hand sanitizer (hydroalcoholic gel) for French health authorities.
As the world’s largest beauty company, L’Oréal is producing hand sanitizer at its factories and plans to donate 1 million euros to associations helping the disadvantaged.
As the world’s largest fashion apparel retailer, Zara will donate masks to Spanish healthcare workers and patients. They have already donated 10,000 protective face masks and will be able to ship another 300,000 surgical masks by the end of the week.
Fashion designer Christian Siriano is offering to make free face masks for medical service workers amidst the coronavirus outbreak relief efforts in New York.
H&M, the world’s second largest fashion retailer, said it would use its supply network to source personal protective equipment for hospitals in the European Union to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Protective masks are the main priority, but gowns and gloves are also being produced to help meet needs.
The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO)
The NCTO announced a coalition of iconic American apparel brands and textile companies have come together to fast-track the manufacturing of medical face masks to help hospitals, health care workers, and patients battling the spread of the COVID-19 disease. Parkdale Inc. – the largest yarn spinner in the US —helped lead the effort to build the coalition with Hanesbrands, Fruit of the Loom and six other companies. While these are competitors in the marketplace, they are expected to produce up to 10 million face masks per week once ramped up.
Lowe’s is donating $10 million for essential protective products for medical professionals on the frontlines of the fight against the coronavirus.
Gap will use its factory resources to make personal protective equipment including face masks, gowns, and scrubs for healthcare workers on the front lines.
Canada Goose will reopen two of its manufacturing facilities and begin producing medical scrubs and patient gowns to help in the fight against COVID-19. The initial goal is to produce 10,000 units and will be donated to local Canadian hospitals at no cost.
Despite closing production sites in France, Italy and Switzerland due to coronavirus, Chanel said they would start manufacturing surgical masks upon approval of prototypes.
The City of L.A. and Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the launch of L.A. Protects, a partnership with Reformation to produce non-medical masks using its sewing factories and fabrics. Reformation is also recruiting other L.A. garment and apparel manufacturers to supply materials and support manufacturing protective equipment at scale.
The Open Innovation Coalition
The Open Innovation Coalition, founded by Rothy’s aims to unite like-minded brands and share resources to better support COVID-19 relief efforts as a collective group. They have open-sourced their mask-making knowledge with fellow manufacturers who are interested in producing similar items. Other brands involved include ThirdLove, Marine Layer, and Lucky Brand.
Profits donated to relief efforts
BRANDS x BETTER
The Brands x Better coalition launched as a way to highlight startups and small businesses that are donating a percentage of their profits to coronavirus relief efforts. About 30 brands are included such as Rhone, Dagne Dover, Kopari Beauty, and Summersalt, most of which are offering discounts right now.
Igloo is donating 100% of profits from their Playmate coolers to the CDC Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund until April 20.
Beauty and wellness brands
A wide range of beauty and wellness brands are donating a percentage of their business or of certain products to COVID-19 relief efforts, including Cora, Haus Labs, Billie, Skims, and more.
For small ecommerce brands
At this time, many consumers are looking to shop from independent brands. Here are some new ways to know where to be discovered.
New sales channel: Privy’s marketplace ‘ShopSmallEcomm.com’
Our partner Privy has created the world’s first marketplace for small ecommerce brands that will launch soon. The reason is they know most people want to support small ecommerce brands instead of a giant corporation, but don’t know where to find them. Submit your store here.
3 months free: BigCommerce
Our partner BigCommerce announced they are offering 3 months free on all plans for new merchants, 0% transaction fees forever, and other advanced tools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For local businesses
There are countless measures to support local businesses that are closed at this time — from donations to purchasing gift cards. As we near the holiday season, consider giving local gifts that help support your community.
Support for local restaurants
Many sites are popping up to support local restaurants and spots. Here are a few:
Justin Mares, who has founded several large direct-to-consumer brands built Give Local, a site dedicated to helping support local businesses at this difficult time. “Many local restaurants need cash to operate, and can’t stay in business 1-2 months with an 80% drop in customers.” You can buy a gift card now, help your favorite restaurants make it through the next few months, and have a delicious meal later.
Help Main Street
This new hub for purchasing local restaurant and small business gift cards is offering a simple way for people to skim through listings, purchase gift cards to contribute cash to local spots, and then redeem the card whenever things return to normal. Learn more or submit a local business at HelpMainStreet.com.
Kabbage Payments is helping retailers create and sell gift certificates, which range in value from $15 to $500, to be redeemed at any time. Small businesses will receive the revenue within one business day of purchase. Learn more or sign your business up at Kabbage.com.
Restaurants need to generate cash flow right now and one of the ways to do it is to sell their current inventory. Coast is helping restaurants and bars sell their wine, cocktails, beer, and food. They are in 18 cities right now and restaurants can submit their listing for free here.
Haus’ The Restaurant Project is an initiative to support closed restaurants with their own custom aperitif, brewed in Haus’s facilities. Upon purchase, Haus immediately pays the restaurant the entire profit, while taking on the hard part of supply chain, production, selling, and shipping. Nominate a restaurant to participate here.
Support for NYC-based DTC brands
Want to support NYC DTC brands? COVID-19 has threatened the future for many of these businesses, so Air made a beautiful map to illustrate the true creative energy of the city and encourage shopping local brands online. View the map and list here.
Support for tattoo artists
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when tattooers were being forced to close their shops, Black Claw started to see artists turn to social media to try and sell paintings, art, gift certificates, and anything they could to stay afloat. They created a new platform, SupportTattooers.com, for tattooers across the world to create profiles they can share and gain support throughout the pandemic. This site help promote artists, some of which will receive cash from donations made there and through other promotions.
There are many funds and loans aimed to help entrepreneurs in this trying time.
Funds for creators: ConvertKit’s Creator Fund
As a mission-driven company made up of creators in a position to provide financial support, ConvertKit started a $50,000 fund — which has since raised $154,000 and is called The Creator Fund — to support creators in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ll be providing financial assistance to creators who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 until the fund runs out. Creators can apply here.
For small businesses: various loans
- This Tweet thread from Bill D’Alessandro notes several loan options
- NYC.gov’s Assistance & Guidance for Businesses Impacted Due to Novel Coronavirus
For ShipBob employees
We’ve created the ShipBob Giving Fund, which has already raised $50,000, to support ShipBob fulfillment center associates in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our associates are working to provide the fulfillment of essential goods for millions of people across the United States and around the world. Donate to the fund or apply here.
For anyone else in need
Everyday people are feeling the burden of this unprecedented pandemic. Here are a few more ways companies are helping.
Lyft is offering delivery of critical medical supplies to anyone in need at this time, including the elderly and those with chronic diseases. In the San Francisco Bay Area they are delivering meals to seniors as well as low income students who ordinarily get subsidized lunches through school. They are hoping to expand to other areas soon.
Lyft has also expanded existing medical transportation services for anyone that needs to get to critical healthcare appointments and treatments, while dealing with the extra strain put on the healthcare system by the coronavirus pandemic.