Fashion was in a precarious spot even before the coronavirus pandemic. Calls for more sustainable business practices and general transparency throughout the industry were becoming harder to ignore. Brands were ultimately facing an undeniable reality: Adaptation and evolution aren’t optional. COVID-19 has only amplified that sentiment, with many in the industry having to reflect on their business model and sense of purpose.
Enter BornxRaised, a streetwear label out of Venice, California that’s working nonstop to give back during this time of need. This week alone, they announced major news for all the sneakerheads out there: BxR customized a pair of Union Jordan 1s that will be raffled on StockX. 90% of proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the COVID-19 solidarity response team.
So far, every BxR drop since the pandemic began has had some type of charitable element.
“I feel like an asshole just trying to sell stuff during this time,” BornxRaised’s Spanto told Remezcla recently. “BornxRaised is about people, really.”
The brand has produced two custom face mask designs that quickly sold out. One features the BxR logo with a “hazardous material” symbol, while the other put things more bluntly with a to-the-point message: “I love you, don’t touch me.” Although both designs are currently out of stock, they plan to restock for May 5, and there are already plenty of frontline healthcare workers who have benefited from their popularity: To date, BxR has donated thousands of masks to those who need them the most.
Spanto and 2Tone, the creative duo behind BxR, have built their beloved brand over the course of eight years. Launching the label was always about giving back to the community that raised them.
“[It was] like a fairytale,” Spanto said. “I was like, ‘I’m gonna start this clothing brand when I get out of prison and I’m gonna buy my mom’s house and everything’s gonna be OK.’ Well, that actually happened. Last year I bought the house and I’m keeping my whole family there… Now, with all this happening, I’m terrified.”
Terror is a widespread emotion right now, but how you respond to that combination of fear and uncertainty is what really matters. BxR is an example of what that looks like.