Vardagen’s PNDMC Collection: Finding Humor and Giving Help
Jared Ingold wanted his T-shirt brand Vardagen to poke humor at what people were going through during a typical day. The brand's mission is reflected in its name, Vardagen, which translates as ‘every day’ in Swedish.
But everyday activities changed when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
California residents had to follow stay-at-home orders. Business froze. Ingold estimated that 95 percent of his business, which runs a flagship on Los Angeles' Abbot Kinney Boulevard, disappeared overnight in mid-March.
“Everyone around us closed and walked away, I don’t really want to do that. I thought, 'Let’s use this to show who we are as people and as a brand,'” he said.
He and his colleagues put together a collection called PNDMC, which took note of everyday life during the pandemic with humor.
One graphic shows praying hands covered in soap suds. It bears the slogan “Wash Your Hands Sinners.” Another design features a graphic of a shopper holding a large supply of toilet paper rolls. The brand also printed its logos on rolls of toilet paper and on hand sanitizer. The theme went beyond products. Ingold also directed a music video for the collection. It’s a punk rock song about social distancing called ‘6 Feet Away or 6 Feet Under.’
Ingold got mostly positive feedback on PNDMC. He did field a few critiques. His defense? This is how he can stay sane and be creative. This also is how he can support people who fell on hard times.
He pledged to take 20 percent of proceeds from PNDMC collection and give $200 grants to creatives who are experiencing hardship.
He said that the current crisis has revealed what is best about people. “I’ve talked to people who said, ‘I’m really struggling. But I’d like to introduce you to someone who needs it more than me,” he said.
Since late March, Vardagen has given grants to 25 people, mostly brand’s friends and acquaintances. If someone wants to make a request for a grant, Ingold suggested messaging his brand's Instagram profile @vdgn.