It’s hard to believe we’ve been living in a global pandemic with COVID-19 for an entire year. We want to celebrate the anniversary of our Bamboo Healthcare Zip-Up and pay homage to our community for supporting us through one of the most challenging times in LL history one year later.
Let’s dive into it!
The release of our Bamboo Healthcare Zip-Up was a response to COVID-19 and the worldwide pandemic. As lockdown 1.0 started, our retailers closed overnight, drying up roughly 90% of sales, therefore forcing us to rely on e-commerce alone. Until lockdown, we had been working to get to a place where e-commerce fueled Local Laundry’s growth, however; we relied heavily on our retail partners. Seeing the world shut down, leaving small businesses like us extremely vulnerable to taking on debt to stay afloat, needing to lay off staff, or permanent closure left us feeling very uneasy
Derived from a custom collaboration with a nurses unit at the Foothills Hospital, the Bamboo Healthcare Zip-Up was inspired by Connor, Co-Founder of Local Laundry’s, wife, Erin. Erin explained what healthcare professionals need in order to have a garment complement their working environment. Moisture-wicking, super soft, and easy to pull off and on, the Bamboo Healthcare Zip-Up was born. As the world called to order a global pandemic, we launched the Bamboo Healthcare Zip-Up to show our support of healthcare workers.
Because we couldn’t predict how our community and the digital world would respond to our Bamboo Healthcare Zip-Up, we put it up on a presale, meaning we would only put into production the garments sold throughout the campaign. To our delight, the response was overwhelming. People from all over the world, from healthcare professionals to essential services to clerks at the grocery store, were all called to put their lives on the line to protect the greater population. As the community showed up for us, we felt it was our responsibility to show up for them. So, 100% of the profits garnered from the Bamboo Healthcare Zip-Up was donated to the United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund.
From March 15 to May 15th, 2020 our community and beyond, showed up to where we launched a Bamboo Healthcare T-shirt and masks, totalling a $20,000 donation. Our mission is to create Canadian-made garments for social good, and the Bamboo Healthcare Zip-Up and garments aided in that mission.
At the beginning of the pandemic, one year ago, we asked our customers and community to make their laundry local. In 365 days of dealing, adapting and pivoting throughout COVID-19, we’ve been challenged in every sense of the word, but we never gave up and neither did our communities around us and for that, we’re eternally grateful. The surge of awareness to support locally owned and operated businesses became more apparent. Understanding where your garments, products and services came from became crucial while supporting people, places and things turned virtual.
We don’t want to sugarcoat it. Moving through a global pandemic hasn’t been easy, but we’ve taken into consideration the many lessons, silver linings and positive notes we’ve encountered along the way. Here are positive things that happened to Local Laundry while amid COVID-19:
- Our e-commerce growth skyrocketed as people turned to buying online while stay at home
- We partnered with national organizations who aligned their values to support Local Laundry’s mission to empower the Canadian supply chain and give back to Canadian charities
- We hired our first full-time employee, CMO, Kathleen Smiley
- We created custom garments and collections with amazing influencers and athletes like Kodette LaBarbera, Mr. Fabulous, the Calgary Flames and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- One of our co-founders, Dustin Paisley, COO/CFO went full time after 6 years of hustling Local Laundry on the side
Last year was challenging, but as a small business, we have a lot to be proud of. Not only did we grow our business during a pandemic, but we donated more to Canadian charities in 2020 than the five years previously combined.
By making your laundry local, communities can support the Canadian supply chain, employing Canadian workers in safe, ethical working conditions while, diversify the Canadian economy. It’s not just a garment, it’s the entire supply chain of Canadian garment manufacturing.
As an ode to 1-year into the global pandemic we are celebrating the anniversary of the Bamboo Healthcare Zip-Up and paying homage to the customers and community who purchased a garment, engaged with us on social media, referred us and made their laundry local. $25 from every Bamboo Healthcare Zip-Up will be donated to the United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund from March 15 - 31st.
Here’s to you, here’s to Canada, and we’ll see you “on the other side” [insert Adele ballad] of this pandemic.