Timely news from Detroit

Disclaimer: Whalebone does not claim to be experts on pretty much anything but we know a good thing when we see it, maybe.

During these uncertain times, during these unknowingly times, during these turbulent times, during these unfortunate times… If you’re interested we could forward you literally hundreds of emails from brands over the last few months that start their communication out like this. With best intentions, they usually stand on ceremony for a good sentence or two then quickly follow up with “to help we’ve decided to offer a 30% discount” and not much more besides asking us to buy something. But, during these tumultuous times (oh boy, now they’ve got us doing it), we can’t necessarily blame an email marketing team for trying—they’ve been dealt a bum hand and likely have tone-deaf bosses. Sell, sell, sell is a tough drum to beat with the you-know-what happening and job market jumping in a volcano. But companies like Shinola, Patagonia, and a few others seem to have a human on the other end of the keyboard, or at least a friendly monkey in a tuxedo. These humans and well-dressed monkeys, if like anyone else we know these days, have been asked to work from home while juggling life in general, have a fear of losing their jobs, and are being asked to do more with less. Tough times we realize but there is a saying that “you are successful because others want you to be successful.” Here are examples of several brands that have put down their own agenda and have stepped up to help others…and that makes us want to help them.

Maybe there is something to this whole helping others thing…


When time is money, the people at Shinola made a timepiece that is helping out those on the front lines in Detroit. Originally set to commemorate the Summer 2020 Olympics, the Champ is being released to show gratitude to the everyday heroes in our life with 100% of proceeds going to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. Here’s to the everyday champs of 2020. Well played, Shinola.


With their We’re Better Together Campaign, Allbirds has given a little comfort and compassion to the lives of healthcare workers on the front lines. Over $500,000 worth of shoes has been donated already with the support of their community. Donate a pair here.


Among the first to close their offices and stores, Patagonia has made it clear of the importance of not just their employees’ safety, but the safety for humans in general. With the help of their loyal employees, friends and families, Patagonia has been producing and repairing masks on a volunteer basis for those who need them the most. Climb over to learn more here.


When it comes to toys, Mattel knows how to play. But they were not playing around with the release of their Play it Forward: Thank You Heroes Collection. The collection of action figures features doctors, nurses, EMTs, first responders and delivery drivers, with proceeds all going to #FirstRespondersFirst fund. Play it forward here.