By Alex Perry
While others step back during COVID-19, Bohyne gives back
In more ways than one, the fashion industry has been impacted by COVID-19. Collection cancellations, mass layoffs, and abrupt halts leave many wondering what the industry will look like upon its supposed rebound. Among the hardest hit in the industry are small, ethical brands.
Without trade shows and events, as well as the loss of income and resources, a number of brands remain unsure of their futures. Visibility and impact online hold more weight now than ever; an additional weak spot for small teams and companies.
However, many brands aren’t waiting for the future to take action. They’re making waves in the present by supporting their manufacturers, customers, and their communities in real-time.
At the beginning of April, Bohyne partnered with Perry Rose Media and PR Couture to raise nearly $700 in just two days. With this donation, Bohyne was able to cover the make price and shipping costs for 500 face masks through its fair trade cooperative. These masks will soon arrive in Pennsylvania from Cambodia, where they will be re-sanitized and shipped for donations around Pittsburgh, Ohio, California, New York and more.
Bohyne isn’t the first fashion brand to step out and start making face masks. A collective of designers based in New York City created a Facebook group for citizens to donate supplies, request face masks and come together. Brooklyn-based wedding accessory designer Alyson Melhouse leads the charge by continuing to gather and distribute materials, masks, and resources. Their mission has expanded beyond NYC, mobilizing sewers nationwide.
French luxury brands like Balenciaga, Gucci, and Saint Laurent, as well as fast-fashion brands like H&M and Zara, announced plans to produce face masks at the end of March. It’s not entirely clear yet where, when or how these face masks will become available or distributed.
Additionally, some designers and fashion warehouses began ramping up plans to produce tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of face masks to sell online. The cost of these face masks ranges from $10 upwards of $30 (and above.) LA-based fashion designer Michael Costello shared with the LA times funding from the face masks will support his loyal seamstresses.
True to its rebellious nature, Bohyne has approached the production and donation of face masks differently. Rather than going the route of selling face masks, or gathering fabrics and materials from just the public, Bohyne opted for a different strategy.
In Cambodia, Bohyne’s fair trade cooperative patiently awaited an order to come through. A drastic decline in the number of orders they’re fulfilling is felt immediately. Like many other factories and production companies, they’ve invested in material and retention costs to prepare for future production. Such “symptoms” of COVID-19 mean the current financial impact is especially problematic for small businesses. Largely neglected, Cambodia regularly suffers economic hardship and ranks the 8 (of 20) poorest country in Asia.
Through crowd-sourcing via donation, Bohyne has raised nearly $1000 to date. Bohyne continues to accept private donations to support the creation of face masks to be distributed to communities in need at no cost to them. Additionally, Bohyne can liaison wholesale orders for any businesses looking to provide face masks to their essential workforce.
We must remember that we are all in this together. Donate online via Bohyne’s website or get in touch regarding donations and wholesale orders at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Perry is a creative-minded story-telling specialist with experience in the newsroom, as well as working direct-to-client. She currently works with bridal, beauty, technology and cannabis brands in her PR agency, Perry Rose Media. She is a mother of two, true-blue Libra and passionate entrepreneur. Typically, you’ll find her behind blue-light blocking glasses sipping CBD-infused chai lattes. Follow Alex on Instagram Read Alex’s articles