As GoFundMe campaigns for laid-off service workers multiply across the U.S., beauty companies also are becoming dependent on this lever.
Over 70,000 Covid-19-related fundraisers are currently found on GoFundMe, and many are for service industry and retail workers who have lost their jobs as businesses closed during the Covid-19 outbreak. Campaigns are especially prevalent for salon-based businesses and retailers. More than 83% of hair salons in the U.S. have closed, according to a survey by hairdresser community site Behindthechair.
Some of the fundraisers being organized are by businesses that have laid off employees, including Tenoverten, Sundays, Heyday and Glowbar. CAP Beauty, a clean beauty store and spa in New York City, announced in an Instagram post on March 19 that it was letting all its staff go when it closed due to the coronavirus shutdown. It asked followers to donate to its Venmo or Paypal, stating in the comments, “When we are back up and running, our team will all have their positions waiting for them.”
The vast majority of beauty service professionals are not being paid during the shutdowns. Behindthechair found that 85% of hairdressers surveyed said they are receiving no income during this time. Hair-care brand Madison Reed is one exception, announcing on Instagram that it would be paying workers at its 12 salons across the country while its doors are closed. Meanwhile, nail salons have been hit especially hard.
“In an industry where workers already struggle so much to make ends meet, the Covid-19 pandemic is a devastating blow. We are just beginning to see [the] repercussions,” said Luis Gomez, organizing director of the New York Nail Salon Workers Association.The 800-member association has launched its own Nail Salon Worker Resilience Fund, which is receiving donations through nonprofit fundraising software ActBlue. Funds like this are especially necessary for the many nail workers with an undocumented immigration status who will not be eligible for anything in the relief package just signed into law, according to a spokesperson for the association.
Other companies in the beauty industry have also stepped up with online fundraising campaigns to support salon workers. Beauty brands launching fundraisers include hair-care brand Virtue Lab and clean beauty brand Dome Beauty. In the PR space, Pape PR and Rell Communications have teamed up for their own GoFundMe for salon workers and estheticians, while beauty search engine app Mira Beauty has also created a relief fund for beauty professionals via PayPal.
American Spa partnered with seven brands to produce theSpecial Edition Breast Cancer Awareness Beauty Box, which offered special promo codes for bulk orders so estheticians and spa owners could decide what products they wanted to offer during BCAM. A portion proceeds from orders placed using a Beauty Box promo code were also donated to miscellaneous BCA charities.
How are the women entrepreneurs behind small firms selling skincare and hair products, makeup and more navigating a time when customers are no longer seeing - well, anyone?
Mar Cavallone, founder of makeup lineDome Beauty in Chicago, has been grappling with similar problems thanks to COVID-19. She says she began to notice the effects in early January, as much of her packaging is sourced in China. She was planning a new product launch at the time, and had to find workarounds to make it happen. The additional five new product launches planned for this spring have either been delayed or postponed indefinitely, she says.
Returns in the beauty industry are notorious for producing waste and can bring a brand down as a net loss. "Damaging out" prevents dumpster divers from using/reselling returned product and is regarded as safer for beauty consumers.
As we approach a more sustainable and less-is-more approach to beauty, there are much more sanitary and eco-conscious ways to manage the complicated issue of beauty returns.