From Inc. This Morning, Cameron Albert-Deitch, reporter
The past few months have created some strange bedfellows across the business world. Look no further than The Open Innovation Coalition.
Back in April, San Francisco-based direct-to-consumer women’s shoe company Rothy’s came up with a design for a mask. It reprogrammed its knitting machines and used materials left over from earlier shoe lines. All it needed was elastic to help the masks fit snugly on people's faces. Enter ThirdLove, a San Francisco neighbor and fellow DTC company that sells women’s undergarments, which contributed 9,000 meters of elastic to the Rothy’s masks.
"We were operating in isolation, but heard rumblings that other companies were trying to figure out what they could do," Saskia van Gendt, Rothy’s head of sustainability, tells Inc. “We were all figuring things out and trying to do whatever we could.”
The unlikely partnership could have stopped there. Instead, a coalition was born--which now features 25 DTC brands spread across the country, all working together to raise money, make what is needed to help fight the coronavirus, and support each other during the crisis.
Read our story to learn how this experiment in collaboration came together--and why these competitive brands are planning to continue working together even beyond the pandemic.