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Nest Launches PPE Purchasing Initiative with Inaugural Funders to Help ‘Flatten the Curve’ and Employ Artisan Businesses

An inaugural group of funders, led by long-term Nest supporter, Qurate Retail Group, and joined by key partners, Etsy, Target, Amazon, Mastercard, The Winn Family Foundation and The Cordes Foundation, are lifting Nest’s COVID-19 response off the ground to fund artisan and maker businesses as they shift from fashion and home goods to PPE for frontline workers and vulnerable populations. 

Just days since launch, Nest approved partial or full grant requests for 59 businesses, totalling over $350,000! These funds will provide employment to 3,593 skilled artisans at home and abroad, and will deliver more than 180,000 protective masks into the hands of those who need them most over the next few weeks.

Refugee Artisan Initiative

Refugee Art Initiative @refugeesarts

With global supply chains rapidly shifting, Nest is facilitating a number of ways for the industry (and individuals) to join this initiative and support the handworker economy.  Together, we can build a more resilient future, by ensuring all of these businesses, large and small, stay afloat in the near term.

Help from the PPE Purchasing Initiative and our Small Business Resources will support supply chains as we emerge from this global crisis. Many of the over 700 small businesses in the Nest Artisan Guild, have shifted their fashion and home goods supply chains to the production of PPE. These businesses are uniquely positioned for this call to action. Their resiliency lies in operating on razor-thin margins, balancing inconsistent raw material supplies, and constantly adapting to a rapidly changing retail landscape. 

Furthermore, these businesses are a workforce accustomed to home production. Over 90% of the artisans Nest supports are women sustaining entire households. Despite their limited financial and material resources, they are responding to the call to alleviate shortages of PPE being reported across the world. 



“Many in our community have already lost jobs and vital income as fashion brands cancel orders and lay off staff. Now, these women are being asked to provide a critical service producing PPE, but so far the funding has not materialized from the government or fashion brands to furnish fair pay for this work. Economic well-being and health are tied up together. Now is the time to invest in these women and invest in our local economies…”Custom Collaborative, Harlem, New York



The PPE Purchasing Initiative will reduce the financial burden and threat of unemployment for these small businesses by equipping them to produce high-quality and/or medical-grade PPE. Nest is “purchasing” masks and other PPE to be donated to frontline workers and vulnerable populations, so that our small business partners do not bear the investment alone. Donate to send a mask to a frontline worker and help ‘flatten the curve,’ while equipping small businesses with the capital they need for materials, labor and shipping. Join us in reaching our #GivingTuesdayNow goal to reach $5,000 by May 5th!