Dallas-based men’s clothier Mizzen+Main, arguably one of the most socio-conscious apparel brands, launched their #Henleys4Heroes campaign this month, proving once again their commitment to the good ol’ red, white and blue. Throughout July, customers who purchase a Mizzen+Main dress shirt will have the opportunity to send a free Mizzen+Main henley to a veteran or active duty serviceman or woman. The only catch? Customers need to snap a photo of the #Henleys4Heroes card received with their shipment, upload the pic to Instagram or Twitter and include the hashtag #Henleys4Heroes.
So, why henleys, why social media and why military men and women? The Mizzen+Main henley – now available in six colors, notes co-founder Kevin Lavelle – has seen a jump in popularity among the military community. “It’s a great hybrid you can dress up, but isn’t as formal as a dress shirt.” It seemed like a natural fit to give these heroes what they want, and promoting the concept via social media accomplishes the goal of getting the public engaged and feeling connected to something bigger. Plus, it’s a simple way to make a difference without a lot of effort. “There’s no easier way to give back than spreading the word,” explains Lavelle.
From the beginning, Lavelle knew he wanted the Mizzen+Main philosophy to include some element of giving back to those who “put aside their own wants, needs and careers…and knowingly make the choice to sacrifice.” With a more than a passing interest in our country’s patriots, Lavelle has worked to incorporate nationalistic philanthropy into every aspect of the company. From manufacturing (right here in the U.S.A.) to the freshman “A Shirt for a Start” initiative and now to the give-back henley program, Lavelle maintains their “jobs before profits” mission provides a constant reminder they’re trying to do something more than process transactions.
Joe Lafko, Mizzen+Main’s Main Man over customer and veteran engagement, was the first hire in the “A Shirt for a Start” program and coined the name #Heroes4Henleys during a weekly catch-up session. A four-year active duty Marine now enlisted in the reserves, Lafko hopes to launch paid internships with the company beginning late this month. A veteran himself, Lafko understands the challenges that come with returning to the workforce after service, but also contends that veterans have qualities essential to a company’s success. “There are certain things you can teach, but you can’t teach drive and passion – that’s a big focus.”
With patriotism intrinsic to the very core of Mizzen+Main, the company has high hopes for #Henleys4Heroes. Laughs Lavelle, “We hope to run out of henleys all together. If [#Heroes4Henleys] blew up, it’d be a good problem to have.” It’s an easy way to give back without writing a check, but Lavelle asserts, “Even if people can’t participate, they can spread the word to get others engaged. The lasting effects of war aren’t over just because it’s not in the news.”
#Heroes4Henleys runs through the end of July; visit http://bit.ly/1qo1wHN or mizzenandmain.com for more information. If you’d like to receive a FREE henley or nominate an active duty service member or veteran to receive one, head over HERE. Selected recipients will be notified by Mizzen+Main.