Before its Mar. 17 debut rolled around, the new body-care brand HIKI had a fairly run-of-the-mill game plan: "We were planning to launch the way every brand has ever launched, by making our products publicly available for sale," reads a statement to consumers from HIKI's parent company, arfa. But as the novel coronavirus has changed the world, so has it changed the HIKI launch — and how the fledgling brand approached the concept of releasing products.
"Due to the current global situation with COVID-19, with all the unknowns we are facing together, we don’t believe it’s appropriate to launch a brand as if the world hasn’t changed," continued the statement. "While we are a startup with limited resources, what we do have are HIKI products ready to ship, and a fundamental belief in the power of empathy to help people feel better. Starting today, we’ve decided to give HIKI products away in an effort to build a different form of human connection."
Hospital and medical facility workers will receive two HIKI products of their choice on hiki.com — sans caveats — with $2.50 shipping. HIKI is asking non-hospital workers to share a "message of kindness towards someone else" on social media, and tag it with #todayimfeeling and @arfabrands to receive the free products shipped for $5. (arfa noted in its statement that, "credit card processing, packing, and shipping costs us $8.04 per order.")
Through arfa, HIKI is also committed to paying The Collective, a group of consumers who helped shape the brand in its early stages. "Our arfa Collective members start with arfa by having a conversation around their body experience, and afterwards they provide feedback on potential products, test those products, and provide honest feedback on all key moments of brand creation and building (packaging, name, size, etc.)," arfa's Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer, Ari Wengroff, tells The Zoe Report over email. "arfa gives 5 percent of our profits annually to these co-pilots (‘The Collective’) in recognition of their active involvement and vital contribution."
For its debut launch, there are 10 individual HIKI products: the Anti-Chafe Stick, Body Powder, Antiperspirant, Body Wipes, Deodorant (available in three scents), and Travel-Size Deodorant (which offers the same three fragrances). "Through candid conversations about our bodies, sweat, and everyday lives, we built a line of vegan, cruelty-free products that reflect the daily needs of real bodies in motion, not just their underarms," Wengroff says. "Our category ranging from Anti-Chafe, Body Powder, larger-than-expected Body Wipes, and natural Deodorant, highlights all areas of the body that sweat, because anybody who has a body sweats all over."
To explore the new product line (and HIKI itself), visit the brand's website at hiki.com.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.