Our Favourite Brand Responses to the Australian Bushfire Crisis

14 January 2020

As our country is shaken by the ongoing devastation of the Australian bushfires and global climate crisis, both communities and brands have stepped up to do anything they can to help those affected.

From international celebrities to local small businesses, the response has been incredible. As a branding agency, we’ve found ourselves continuously inspired by the creative ways that brands and public figures alike are using their reach and platform to help.

Here are some of the responses that have grabbed our attention lately. The best part is that you can still help to support many of these brands’ fundraising efforts, whether that be by participating in a flash sale, buying a cup of coffee, or even catching a movie.

And if you want to know how you can directly help those affected, we’ve included a list of charities at the bottom of this blog post.

The Power of the Individual

While charity efforts from brands have a profound impact, seeing one person making a large donation can inspire many.

Countless celebrities have donated and helped to create awareness of the bushfires on social media, including Aussies Chris and Liam Hemsworth, who each donated $1 million.

In the sports world, ATP has donated $750,000 to WWF’s Australian Wildlife and Recovery Fund thanks to donations from tennis players.

And of course, comedian and national treasure Celeste Barber has raised more than $50 million for the NSW Rural Fire Service.

One noteworthy individual outside of the public sphere is Kaylen Ward, a nude model who’s dubbed herself the “naked philanthropist” after raising more than $1 million for the World Wildlife Fund and NSW Rural Fire Service. How? By selling her nudes on Twitter. Kaylen has now set up a GoFundMe as a more family-friendly way for her fans to donate.

Aussie Brands Go All In

Over 45 brands pledged 100% of profits made on January 9th as part of an “All In” Red Cross fundraiser initiative, with buy-now-pay-later platform Afterpay donating an additional $1 from each global transaction.

Other brands have decided to get a little creative with their efforts. Sustainable toilet paper brand Who Gives a Crap (our personal favourite!) already donates 50% of all profits to sanitation projects in developing nations. But, they also announced that they’re giving $20,000 to bushfire relief, as well as sending several thousand rolls of toilet paper to Foodbank Australia to help out victims.

Fashion retailer Mosaic Brands are donating $50,000, as well as $1 million of clothing to victims. Melbourne mattress manufacturer Chiropedic are also donating 100 mattresses to victims, as well as donating $100 from every mattress sold from their Cloud 9 Range during January.

Some brands are also selling special products to raise money. Frank Body will be donating 100% of January’s sales from their A-Beauty Scrub, allowing their customers to make their order count.

Finally, Telstra has wiped volunteer firefighters’ phone bills for the months of December and January. They’ve also pledged to match all donations from their employees who choose to give a portion of their salary to the Red Cross. They expect to raise $10 million.

Dine for a Cause

Melbourne foodies were able to dine and donate thanks to charitable initiatives from some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and cafes. Restaurants Tulum, Lezzet, and Ides (to name just a few) all held special lunches or dinners with proceeds going to bushfire relief. Penta Cafe also donated an entire week’s worth of profits to the CFA and NSW RFS.

After a good cup of coffee? Everyday Coffee is selling a special Bushfire Relief Espresso Blend, with 100% of sales going to a number of charities.

A Charitable Night Out

You can now shop, eat, drink, and laugh for a good cause thanks to Stand Up for Bushfire Relief at the Palais, which will feature some of Australia’s best comedic talent (including Hannah Gadsby and Judith Lucy!).

Yogis will be flowing through their asanas for a cause thanks to Lululemon’s mass yoga and meditation fundraiser, with 100% of ticket sales going directly to charity.

Didn’t manage to snag a ticket to either of these unique events? Love movies? Love tacos even more? Fonda Mexican will donate 100% of all ticket sales from their Windsor Rooftop Cinema to Wires Wildlife Rescue and Wildlife Victoria for the entire month of January.

How You Can Help

Can’t scratch that shopping itch? Consider buying something from stores based in bushfire-affected areas, whose sales are struggling following the devastating fires. Take a look at Spend With Them to find a showcase of local businesses, from salons to breweries.

Going camping or for a Sunday drive? Got an esky? Forget the local supermarket. The Empty Esky campaign encourages Aussies to spend money in (safe to visit) affected communities, filling up their esky to take home.

Find A Bed Australia is helping people displaced by the bushfires find beds for a night, and connecting them with homes that have spare rooms. Reach out to them if you can accommodate anyone in need of a bed.

You don’t have to shop online, go out, or even spend money to help out volunteers, victims, and affected wildlife. There are plenty of charities and initiatives in need of donations, including financial donations, household items, clothing, food and water, blood, and volunteer time.

Here’s a list of charities who desperately need your help. We recommend visiting their websites first to see what they need most and avoid overwhelming them with unwanted donations:

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