zvelle
Photograph courtesy of Zvelle

How Canadian Brand Zvelle is Supporting Healthcare Workers and its Own Staff During COVID-19

The label is forging its own path in these uncertain times.

We’ve been seeing a lot of brand step up in recent days to help provide much-needed support and relief to the healthcare workers of Canada working tirelessly to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. From Canada Goose to Knix, L’Oréal Canada and local designers, there’s plenty of good news worth sharing and celebrating. Another such story comes courtesy of Toronto-based accessories brand, Zvelle.

Led by Elle AyoubZadeh, the brand has been hard at work in recent weeks to provide support and stability to its own network of employees, as well as those working on the front lines of the crisis. Earlier this week, Zvelle announced the launch of a new initiative encouraging its followers to nominate a healthcare hero who could then receive a pair of sandals from the brand, designed in honour of Canada’s first female physician and the founder of Women’s College Hospital, Emily Stowe. “There is nothing more important right now than supporting healthcare workers,” AyoubZadeh tells FASHION. “They are on the front lines every day fighting for all of us.”

zvelle
Photograph courtesy of Zvelle

Zvelle’s mission has always been to uplift and celebrate women across the globe, she tell us, adding that shining a light on female healthcare workers in particular right now is important. “We want to lift their spirits up and let them know we see them and we see their sacrifices that they are making for us, total strangers. We have shoes and we can give them away to remind these women that there is still beauty in the world and better days are coming.” So far, the brand has received more than 500 nominations.

In addition to this initiative, the brand is also maintaining production across its Italian factories to keep its people employed. “This was a no brainer decision for us,” she explains. “Italy is our second home and supporting our work family has and always will be important to us. We work with small multi-generational family-owned factories – they are passionate, dedicated and the very best craftspeople in the world. We are standing by them because we want them to be able to keep their factories running after this is over, and we want them to keep feeding their families and their workers.”

zvelle
Photograph courtesy of Zvelle

And at a time when so many brands are scaling back operations, Zvelle has increased production on some of its most popular styles. “We are not cutting production. We are not laying anyone off, including our contractors and freelancers. We are standing by the people who count on us,” she explains. “This will mean some sacrifices [on my part] as the CEO but it’s worth it to me and I will happily do it.”

As for how people can support local small businesses like Zvelle right now, AyoubZadeh says to “vote with your dollars.” She continues, “Whatever you can do, whether it is $1, $5, or $100, do it now. If you believe in any business, buy anything you can or buy a gift card.” However if you don’t have the financial means to support a business right now, she says telling others about them is also a way to contribute. “Talk publicly about them, and ask others to support them.”

Whether it’s nominating a healthcare hero, buying an item from the brand or hyping them up on social, AyoubZadeh says all actions matter right now. “We can all do our part, no matter how small we think it is.”

To nominate a healthcare hero, share a photo of your healthcare hero on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn with a short blurb on why you’re nominating them. Tag @Iamzvelle and use the hashtag #WalkHowYouWant. Nominations are open until 12pm midnight ET on Sunday March 29. 

To shop Zvelle, click here. For more small businesses to support at this time, see our round-up here.