Vegan brand The Herbivore Clothing Company recently raised more than $2,000 for animal rescue organizations through a creative initiative. While the company is on hiatus from its physical store, Herbivore wanted to help animal sanctuaries in some way given the difficulty these groups are having in covering expenses right now. Herbivore Manager Krysti Weddle had the idea of using the clothing brand’s misprinted or otherwise functional, but unsellable, T-shirts to create protective masks and then donate proceeds to animal sanctuaries. Local attorney—and friend of Herbivore—Lindsey Stallings volunteered her sewing skills to kick off the project. “This has been a really trying time to be a small business,” Herbivore co-owner Josh Hooten told VegNews. “No matter our new challenges, we knew others in our community were dealing with their own issues, and we really wanted to help. Sanctuaries are all losing their volunteers due to distancing and cancelling fundraisers which really help with the yearly budget.”
The first batch of 23 masks sold out in under an hour, and Herbivore was able to make a $1,000 donation to Washington-based animal rescue Old Man Inn—which was co-founded by Wendy Smith, a full-time nurse. Stallings sewed an additional 32 masks which sold out in 40 minutes, allowing Herbivore to make a $1,005 donation to Wildwood Farm Sanctuary in Oregon. “As tough as things are, this is our community, and these are our people and we’re all in this together,” Hooten said. “It feels great to help and see folks pull together.” While Herbivore’s initiative is completed for now, Hooten urges those that can to support their local animal sanctuaries during these difficult times.
The clothing and accessories brand is also now selling $35 Stay-at-Home bundles with free shipping, including The Social Distance Survival Kit which contains cozy socks, a crop tank or tee, lip balm, a dark chocolate and caramel candy bar, and a letterpress card; and The Your Roots Are Showing Quarantine Survival Kit which most notably features a beanie (to cover your roots), along with a candy bar, stickers, pins, cards, patches, and a keychain.
Herbivore is part of Portland’s famous “vegan mini-mall,” a partnership of storefronts that also includes bakery Sweet Pea Baking Co. (still in operation but with limited hours); grocery store Food Fight! (which has transitioned to a pick-up model); and tattoo shop Scapegoat Tattoo (which is closed under state order but sells merchandise online).