8 Brands Shining in Uncertain Times

We’re living through some crazy times. 

Each new day seems to be filled with new challenges, new information and a few “new normals” we need to adapt to. Let’s be honest, it’s overwhelming. With so much uncertainty surrounding us, it’s easy to fixate on the bad and hard to look for the good. But we could all use some good news right now, and we promise you — even in these crazy times — there’s still a lot of good happening.

As the profoundly insightful Mr. Fred Rogers suggested, during scary times, “look for the helpers.” So we did just that. We turned to the internet, read countless news articles and scoured social media to see what we could find. 

We read amazing stories of individuals and companies alike getting creative to help our global community. L’Oreal and Estee Lauder making hand sanitizer, AT&T waiving overage charges, Uhaul providing free storage for displaced college students – and those are just the ones that hit mainstream media. 

As we kept digging, the good vibes kept coming. We uncovered example after example of brands doing amazing things despite significant challenges. Now we wish we could highlight every individual and company that is doing good right now, but thankfully there are too many. 🙏

Below are 8 brands whose stories inspired, uplifted and encouraged us. 

Good vibes this way 👇


Allbirds donates a free pair of shoes to healthcare professionals on the frontline

Allbirds built its entire business around simplicity, comfort and sustainability. The 4 year-old shoe brand made waves when they first launched and has since amassed millions of raving fans worldwide. A major portion of their fan base consist of medical professionals – and to offer some sort of relief and comfort during an unbelievably hectic time, they’re giving away a pair of their “Wool Runners” to the people on the front lines.

Why we love it:

In their own words, “we don’t have a playbook for times like this, but you do.”  Allbirds quickly recognized the daunting tasks and long hours that healthcare professionals were facing, and while they couldn’t make the work easier, they at least could make it more comfortable.

Show some love: allbirds.com

Solo Stove

Solo Stove starts “Project Good” to remind people there is good in the world

Over the last decade, Solo Stove has built one of the most innovative lines of outdoor stoves, fire pits and camping gear on the market. But to John Merris (CEO), the company is much more than that, “our products are simply the tools for those that want to reconnect to what matters in their lives.”

During a time of social distancing, isolation and unrelenting uncertainty, Solo Stove decided to give some of its products away to help create places of refuge and happiness for people who need a little pick-me-up.

Why we love it:

“Project Good” runs on nominations, so not only is Solo Stove giving away its products, but they’re also sharing the stories of some pretty amazing people. These mini-stories put things into perspective and remind us of what truly matters.

Show some love: solostove.com

Rogue Fitness

Rogue Fitness shifts manufacturing to produce much needed medical supplies

Rogue Fitness burst onto the scene in 2007, and since then has become the gold-standard for fitness equipment across the globe – just ask any Crossfitter, they’ll tell you 😉. Born and raised in Ohio, it’s no surprise that Rogue would take community support seriously, but what they’ve done is truly inspiring. 

Rogue employees are accustomed to working with iron and fire, not fabric and sewing machines. Nevertheless, Rogue shifted its design, development and manufacturing teams to design and produce masks, gowns, shields and ventilators.

Why we love it:

Rogue has every right to be selfish right now; just take a look at the Google trends graph for “home gym” below. People want and need their products. This could be a time of explosive growth (and still may be), but instead they’ve turned their company outward.

Show some love: roguefitness.com


Corkcicle shifts online purchases to benefit local retailers 

Corkcicle has a reputation for thinking outside the box. From unique tumblers, to fashion-first lunch boxes, to cigar-cradling-glassware and everything in between, Corkcicle has a way of innovating in areas that others tend to miss. When it comes to our shifting economic landscape, their response was equally innovative (and brilliantly simple).

Corkcicle products are sold in hundreds boutiques and local stores throughout the US and abroad – many of which (if not all) have been closed due to quarantine. To support their retail partners, Corkcicle has set up a program that allows online customers to select a local store at checkout, and credit the store as if it was bought directly from them (i.e. the store gets paid while no one can shop there).

Why we love it:

This innovative and thoughtful approach to supporting local business is a masterclass on connecting online and physical retail. But more importantly, given that brick-and-mortar retailers are some of the most vulnerable right now, we admire Corkcicle’s dedication to supporting them, and we’re crossing our fingers that they become trendsetters in this regard.

Show some love: corkcicle.com


Cotopaxi Foundation dedicates funds to help refugees navigate uncertainty

Every eye-popping product Cotopaxi produces has responsibility and sustainability intricately designed into every stitch. Whether it’s providing better working conditions in their factories, sourcing sustainable materials or donating 1% of their annual revenue to refugee-focused nonprofits, Cotopaxi is no stranger to giving back.

As of 2019, there are nearly 71 million refugees worldwide. Because of their citizenship status, many live in less-than-ideal situations, have limited access to healthcare and are often the last to receive government aid. Without proper support, millions of refugees are at high-risk for contracting illness. For the foreseeable future, the Cotopaxi Foundation will be directing all of its funds to vetted organizations helping refugees navigate this uncertain time.

Why we love it:

With so much going on in the world, it can be difficult to see beyond what’s happening right in front of us. Cotopaxi is staying true to the incredible brand they’ve built by supporting the people who are too often overlooked.

Show some love: cotopaxi.com

Zara (Inditex)

Zara owner offers to shift manufacturing to make scrubs for overstretched hospitals

Zara needs no introduction. But it’s parent company Inditex might. Inditex is the biggest fashion group in the world, controlling 8 brands (including Zara) and operating nearly 7,500 stores in 200+ markets worldwide. The fashion giant announced that it’s been forced to close half of its stores already, surely with more to follow. It’s hard to imagine how much revenue they’re losing every day, but instead of sulking, Inditex plans to shift its manufacturing in Spain to produce scrubs and medical supplies for their overstretched hospitals. 👏

Why we love it:

Inditex is the poster child for “fast-fashion.” They can produce and distribute clothing faster than anyone else in the world. In a time of crisis, they’re leaning on their expertise to produce what matters – scrubs, gowns, masks and more. 

Show some love: zara.com


Nomad reprioritizes production and supply chain to make face masks 

For years, Nomad has designed and produced some of the best technology accessories on the market – phone cases, cables, chargers and more. Today, they’re making something different, face masks.

As our current economic landscape has continued to change, supply chains have been pushed beyond capacity, creating shortages of essential medical supplies worldwide. After nearly a decade in business, Nomad has developed a robust supply chain that can fulfill thousands of orders around the world each week, putting them in the unique position to produce and distribute critical supplies to the people who need them most.

Why we love it:

Shifting production is a tall order. It requires new material, new machinery, new processes, new training … and shifting production quickly? An even taller order. Nomad is taking on a lot to make this happen, but the lasting effects of this initiative will benefit thousands of healthcare professionals and patients worldwide. 

Show some love: nomadgoods.com


Lovevery creates a library of expert-backed content for parents in need of relief

Loverevy understands kids. But more importantly, they understand what makes them “tick.” The award-winning toy company boasts an impressive lineup of Dr.’s, scientists, development specialists, teachers and more who all work jointly to build research-backed baby and toddler toys. If anyone can understand the struggle of parents and kids who are suddenly forced indoors, it’s Lovevery. 

To help parents and kids alike, Lovevery put together their “Activity Central” to share practical ideas for playing, learning and entertaining at home. The resources are separated by age group, and each section has dozens of ideas to help parents get through the days.

Why we love it:

Lovevery could simply promote their products, offer a “stuck-at-home” discount or free shipping, but instead they’ve decided to lean on thoughtful (and free) content. No doubt, this will turn into a  sanity-saving resource for thousands of parents. 

Show some love: lovevery.com

Final thoughts

To all the brands listed, thank you! Thank you for inspiring us with your creativity, charity and most importantly, reminding us that there are brighter days on the horizon. And to anyone else who is doing their part to support the cause, thank you!

– The Route team

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