Here’s How to Buy a Charitable, Fashionable Mask That Helps Fight COVID-19: Kenny Flowers Face Masks
In the last couple of weeks, fashion brand Kenny Flowers has swiftly transitioned their Bali factory to use their resources to battle the coronavirus by making masks. Yesterday, they launched non-medical lifestyle masks sustainably made with un-used fabric scraps of their spring and summer collections, available online. Kenny Flowers is donating proceeds to Direct Relief – a nonprofit organization providing medical-grade equipment to those on the frontlines. Kenny Flowers manufactures in Bali, Indonesia, and will also be donating masks on the ground in Bali for every mask sold on their site.
Within 30 minutes of launching face masks yesterday, vacationwear brand Kenny Flowers immediately sold out of their first allotment of masks, and realized it might be a new era for their company.
Kenny Haisfield, the founder, immediately called the factory in Bali. “I asked how many masks they were comfortable making and getting to us in the next couple of weeks, if we dropped every other production priority going on and focused solely on masks… So we upped the order. Within 12 hours, we sold 1000 masks. We upped the order again.”
“We’re going to make as many as we possibly can,” Haisfield said. “We know we have power as a brand to do a lot of good for everyone in these trying times. We want to do our part to keep citizens safe and those on the front line protected, while also keeping our workforce and their families supported.”
Making masks helps Kenny Flowers’ manufacturers keep their workforce employed and their families fed, while other fashion brands have had to dangerously scale back their orders and production due to the drop in demand going into prime spring and summer seasons, a reality of the current state of retail which has put millions out of work globally.
But, by pivoting their manufacturing from making men and women’s clothing to making masks, Kenny Flowers has not only been able to provide an essential good for our new normal (the CDC now recommends everyone wear a cloth mask anytime they go outside), but also provide necessary, meaningful work for for their workers and supply chain around the world, all while donating 100% of proceeds to front line workers’ medical equipment in the US, and donating masks on the island of Bali – where they manufacture.
The Kenny Flowers prints are what differentiates them to other masks available out there right now. The unique tropical vacation prints that have made Kenny Flowers famous are iconically ironic in the form of a quarantine face mask. But, then again, the Kenny Flowers brand has always been about, as their instagram bio states, ‘embracing the feeling of vacation, every day,‘ – a fact brand loyalists stand by zealously.
“When you put on a Kenny Flowers, you know it’s going to be a good day,” says frequent Kenny Flowers customer Nick Greenfield, who currently lives in New York City and is the CEO of Candid – a direct to consumer orthodontics company. “My office has a tradition of Floral Fridays with most people wearing Kenny Flowers. We’re keeping it up through the WFH time. I always smile just a little bit more when I see my coworkers in their Kenny Flowers on Friday Zoom,” Greenfield said. “Wearing KF helps us all turn the mundane quarantine a little bit tropical,” he said.
Another customer, Brandon Nesfield, a 27-year-old corporate lawyer in New York City, echoed the sentiment. “Everyone can agree that quarantine is pretty much the worst. But tossing on a Kenny Flowers shirt makes any day and any place feel like a party,” Nesfield said. “Good thing I have 30 in my closet right now for every day of April.”
Josh Ford, a 31-year-old business developer currently in Florida, says he bought his favorite Kenny Flowers shirt when the brand launched their first collection in early 2015, and that he actually likes wearing Kenny Flowers gear even more now than normal.
“I find that when I most like rocking a Kenny Flowers is in times when I most need a ray of sunshine,” Ford said. Wearing his tropical Kenny Flowers gear (and soon his mask) gives him the positivity and perspective he needs to “envision all the good times that are just around the corner.”
Kenny isn’t surprised by these quotes and sentiments, as the Kenny Flowers brand has always been and always will be about seeing the brighter side – a light at the end of the tunnel in these unsure times.
“Our customers had big plans for this spring and summer, and just because those have been cancelled doesn’t mean you can’t find positivity and a way to look good, feel good, and do good in these tough times,” says Kenny.
Feeling good, and doing good, go hand-in-hand for Kenny Haisfield. Whereas many in his position as a small business, (especially one that focuses on travel, events, and vacations) would have looked at a non-profit endeavor as just too difficult, too risky, and implausible in these unsure times, his clearest vision has always been focusing on the greater good.
At just 16 years old, Kenny started a non-profit called CEO4Teens (Creating Educational Opportunities for Teenagers) in Bali that sends 10+ students to college each year, and has for 13 years and counting. CEO4Teens focuses on higher education as well as leadership, English and computer skills and helps many high-achieving, underprivileged students reach career and personal potentials they could never have dreamed of without Kenny. He continues to (personally, not even through Kenny Flowers) raise thousands of dollars each year for the charity, as well as lend his hand on the ground whenever he can at the school in Bali.
“Throughout my life, in high school, college, and post grad, working on the non-profit was always the most fulfilling thing that I did. And while we’ve been able to sustain those efforts with CEO4Teens, my focus in the last few years has been fully on Kenny Flowers and growing the business. I’m constantly looking for opportunities to use the Kenny Flowers platform for the better, and this mask opportunity excited me because I’ve always felt most confident and empowered while working on non-profit missions,” Kenny said.
“In a time when we can all agree it’s challenging to focus on work, this new mask initiative has given me more purpose,” Haisfield said.
“When my focus is on a non-profit initiative, I wake up, and the goal is clear: help others and the rest will fall into place from there. This is a welcome breath of fresh air from the usual growing e-commerce business stresses that pop up 24/7, day and night.”
The Kenny Flowers Mask Mission is crystal-clear: Buy a mask, help others, feel good, look good.
Kenny says that he’s always been a believer that “doing good shouldn’t be looked at as a chore, but incorporated into your daily life.” He says “by doing something as simple as getting yourself a mask that will make you look good on the street, it can mean someone in need can protect themselves and their families, as well as nurses, doctors and those on the frontlines can have the resources they need to keep our communities safe. If a simple purchase of a mask can give more purpose to your day, and your personal mission – then why not?”
The Kenny Flowers lifestyle masks come in 100% machine-washable cotton or rayon, and in fun designs like these palm fronds, these surfing flamingos, or this tribal 2020 print. All three designs have matching shirts available, in the same prints, as well, and the palm frond print comes in a cozy kimono you can wear around the house. Have a dog at home quarantining with you? You can match your face mask to your pup’s Kenny Flowers dog bandana to be the hippest quaranteam on your daily walks around the block.
And, if the KF team and their colorful, ever-positive vision has taught us anything, it’s that even though it may not be a day of vacation right now, it can still be a better day than you’d have without a touch of Kenny Flowers in your life.
You can buy Kenny Flowers Lifestyle Face Masks here.
*Editor’s disclaimer: Kenny is my fiancé, and I help with the women’s side of Kenny Flowers design and marketing. I’m exceptionally proud of what he’s doing with the Kenny Flowers Mask Mission and wanted to do everything I could to help spread the word. Please share our story with anyone and everyone, and let’s make a difference together.
**These masks are not intended for medical purposes and are not FDA approved to protect from the coronavirus, however the CDC has recommended cloth masks anytime you leave the house to help protect yourself and stop the spread of COVID-19 as best you can.