For such a time as this: Brands designed specifically to help

New streetwear and athleisure brands launched to raise funds for food relief and health care workers

Established brands and retailers aren’t the only ones turning toward helping others in this unusual season. New offerings aimed specifically in that direction also have been popping up.

Take new Los Angeles-based streetwear brand Social Distance Social Club. It launched on April 17 with the goals of raising awareness of social distancing in the era of COVID-19 and raising funds for nationwide emergency food relief program World Central Kitchen. The lineup includes hoodies, face masks, T-shirts and tank tops, all highlighting the message that social distancing saves lives. Items in the pipeline include joggers, socks, jackets and other accessories; for each product sold, World Central Kitchen receives $5.

The brand’s founders, who are not named in press materials or on social media channels, have backgrounds in fashion and branding, as well as close friends working in the restaurant industry and health care, two of the hardest-hit sectors in the COVID-19 pandemic. They say only that they understand the challenges restaurants face and the sacrifices health care workers are making.

Over at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, meanwhile, a group of 40 students in the UNC FashionMash program’s Product Design class this semester designed a full line of athleisure to benefit health care workers. Working virtually after the campus closed, the students have utilized an on-demand manufacturer, and designed and launched an online store. The effort, one of the students says, gave them the opportunity to explore on-demand fashion ecommerce as well as create a line of products with a community focus. All proceeds from Fluidity Designs help health care workers access personal the protective gear they need to fight COVID-19. The collection includes joggers, shorts, leggings, sports bras and Ts.

From the company blog: “To the students behind Fluidity Designs, this is much more than a class project or an item to check off our to-do list. First, we are proud to do whatever we can to aid those on the front lines who are working so hard to protect us. Second, we hope that our products and our stories provide you a bit of comfort during these frightening times. And third, when this storm passes, and at some point it will, we aim for Fluidity Designs to live on — benefiting those who may need it in the future.”

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