As the effects of COVID-19 hit every business hard, our team huddled together (virtually) and developed a unique concept to help an industry that we all loved—the hospitality space. We wanted to put our skills as strategic marketers to use and within 48 hours, we launched a e-commerce platform that sold custom apparel direct to consumers. The initiative, infamous for the phrase “Bought This T-Shirt and Stayed The Fuck Home”, is growing into a platform that connects organizations and individuals in need with people who wants to help across many different industries.
We wanted to tap into merch culture — turning restaurant fans into customers whilst providing restaurants with another revenue stream outside of takeout and gift certificates. It was important for us to feature both established and smaller locations to create a sense of community amongst our customers and restaurant partners alike.
This T-Shirt has grown into a major relief platform that is dedicated to helping those in need through leveraging creativity and strategic partnerships. Since launching at the end of March, our relief fund has raised over $170,000 and has been featured in major hospitality publications such as Eater, Thrillist, TimeOut, and Grub Street as well as lifestyle publications like Vogue, We Wore What and W Magazine. We have partnered with over 50 restaurants and hospital staff initiatives such as Feeding People Org and Frontline Foods. Recently, we launched a capsule collection with ROAR (Relief Opportunity For All Restaurants) to benefit the ROAR x Robin Hood NY Employee Relief Fund. Our collections have included collabs with KROST New York, The Vintage Twin, Homesick, Sardel, Curious Elixirs, and City Winery.
Most recently, the platform launched a collaboration with The Cubby Hole for the Emergency Release Fund. The collection was our effort to raise awareness around the cash bail system that criminalizes poverty and perpetuates inequities in the justice system that are disproportionately felt by communities of color and those experiencing poverty.
The platform as a whole allowed us to successfully elevate the offering of our products so that customers knew that they weren’t just purchasing trendy apparel, they were buying into a socially conscious way of dealing with the COVID-19 safety measures. Essentially, the initiative turned everyday customers into merch-wearing fans who stand for a powerful message – wear your support on your sleeve and be a part of something bigger than yourself. We are not done…watch this space.