BestKeptSecret, a flash sale shopping platform, debuted on Monday with the help of fashion industry professionals and entrepreneurs Andrew Rosen, Maxwell Osborne, Dao-Yi Chow, Ben Fischman and Jens Grede.
To launch the platform, the site will host a fundraiser featuring more than 35 brands, including Rag & Bone, Rosie Assoulin, Jason Wu and Frame, to raise $1 million for Baby2Baby and Know Your Rights Camp, according to the announcement.
The site partnered with installment payments provider Afterpay to offer discounted apparel, per the company statement. The site also noted that it uses Shopify Plus.
Every unit item sold through the site has a $5 consumer donation attached to it, with all of the proceeds donated directly to Baby2Baby and Know Your Rights Camp. The BestKeptSecret team and its sponsors will match all donations, per the company statement.
BestKeptSecret's event follows a broader pattern of retailers paying more attention to societal issues than in prior years. As the COVID-19 pandemic and police brutality protests continue, retailers are feeling the pressure to respond to consumers' ongoing calls for substantive change.
"BestKeptSecret was designed to tackle the fashion industry's response to COVID-19 while supporting social issues at the forefront of the global zeitgeist," Maxwell Osborne, partner of BestKeptSecret, said in a statement. "We're not only thrilled to bring BestKeptSecret to life, we're proud to be supporting causes that will aid communities across the country during these difficult times."
In addition to serving a good cause, the flash sales event may also be a clever way for the involved retailers to drop excess inventory accrued during a period of plummeting apparel sales. Though apparel sales performed better in June than in previous months where lockdowns were more widespread, they were still down 25% year over year.
Apparel retailers already faced inventory issues before the coronavirus pandemic, but the health crisis has put clothing retailers like Capri and Ralph Lauren in an even tougher spot. It remains to be seen whether flash sales can make a comeback and captivate consumers under current conditions, where money is tight for many.
"Creative ideas are often born in times of necessity, and we recognized an opportunity to do something different by pushing the envelope of a traditional sale," Andrew Rosen, partner of BestKeptSecret, said in a statement. "BestKeptSecret has unified a diverse group of leading fashion brands that will offer a broad selection of merchandise at incredible prices to create an exciting shopping event through a singular shoppable platform."