As this Sharknado of a year comes to a close, we’re reflecting on how community engagement will evolve in the midst of COVID-19, the fight for Black Lives, the general trash fire of environmental degradation, and that one Sarah Palin episode of The Masked Singer. But, hey. Baby steps. For one, we know our wallets double as protest signs. We also know that for all the pain COVID-19 has caused underserved communities, it has also inspired people to (virtually) join forces, and get creative with ways to help.
VICEs just-dropped sustainable dream collaboration is one such effort. It unites 10 designers—including Circulate, B WOOD, Night School Math Club and other drippy, wünderkid brands—to upcycle donated VICE merch into new items for exclusive sale online and in-store at Goodwill (at Goodwill prices). One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit the new Goodwill Southern California Jobs Accelerator Fund, which boosts the company’s free employment services for those who’ve become jobless during the pandemic. “So many people are hurting right now in different ways,” said Jason “Cheech” Hall, VICE’s director of merchandising. “People are starving and broke out here during COVID-19. They need work. They’re thirsty for that $1,200 check, and we wanted to give back in some way.”
The results of the collabs include wavy IIInflux designs, a vibey panda rug made entirely out of old t-shirts, deconstruction, tie-dye touches, and a nice slap of graffiti. “Shout-out to everyone who worked to make this happen, but especially these brands,” Hall said, “which put ego and money aside to give back. They demolished it. I mean, shout out to Midwest Kids, for example. They’re on the cusp of being one of the top-tier new streetwear brands coming out of Ohio and LeBron James’ backyard. What an honor. And they had no hesitation.”
Selflessness pairs well with everything. So look to these capsule collections as lessons in eco-friendly, mutual aid-boosting swagger.