How a Passion for Short Shorts and Celebrating Friday at 5 Led Chubbies to Launch a Nonprofit Organization
That “Friday at 5pm” Feeling
When the founders of Chubbies created the brand in 2011, they were inspired by 2 key ideas: quality proper length shorts, and bringing more fun and balance back into a world inundated with emails, fake news, status updates, and a general loss of work-life balance.
Enter Chubbies - the official outfitters of Friday at 5pm. At Chubbies, “Friday at 5pm” is a mental state focused on finding balance. It’s that moment that you stop focusing on what you should do, and instead focus on what you want to do.
Over the past 10+ years, we’ve expanded from our signature, retro-inspired short shorts to also include swim trunks, shifts, athletic wear, performance polos, and much more to round out the full Weekend Wardrobe. And while we continue to increase our product selection and grow as a brand, we never lose sight of that core weekend-centric mentality, and are always searching for ways to make an even bigger, more meaningful impact.
While our goal at Chubbies is to continue to bring the Friday at 5 mentality to everyday life through our products and content, we also understand that finding balance, managing stress, and prioritizing your mental health can be really challenging. In addition to all of the many normal daily stressors we face - from work, to our health, to our families and more - nearly 1 in 5 adults are also experiencing a mental illness, but due to a variety of factors, only about half of those experiencing a mental illness ever receive treatment. We realized that in order to more effectively expand the Chubbies brand ethos, we had to to focus on mental health, shifting the statistics, and ensuring that each and every one of us has access to quality mental health care.
And so, we created our own nonprofit organization.
In May 2021, Chubbies announced the launch Foundation 43, a nonprofit with a mission to expand access to effective mental health care and suicide prevention, with a focus on historically marginalized communities. We committed to donating a portion of every sale to Foundation 43, creating a systemic dedication to funding mental health care and suicide prevention while also pledging to use our platform to speak openly about mental health to chip away at stigma.
“We realized a long-held conviction to support a broader set of stakeholders. We are now able to concretely give back to the communities that have made us unique, seeking out the most marginalized within them to support, while using our distinctive voice and platform to speak up about the growing mental health crisis in America.”
- Dave Wardell, Chubbies President on the launch of Foundation 43
Foundation 43 was named for our 43 facial muscles, one of many ways we convey (or conceal) our emotions. We envision a world in which everyone is free to use the 43 muscles of the face to express the full range of emotions that make us our beautiful and dynamic selves.
This month, we celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Foundation 43, and are proud to share that Chubbies has donated over $280,000 to further Foundation 43’s mission. Foundation 43 uses these funds to provide grants to other nonprofits focused on expanding access to mental health care within their respective communities, including:
- Active Minds, the nation’s premier nonprofit promoting mental health for young adults.
- Black Men Heal, a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide access to mental health treatment, psycho-education, and community resources to men of color.
- Headstrong, a national-facing mental health treatment practice that provides at no expense, confidential and stigma-free mental health treatment for military members, veterans, and their families.
- The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people.
We are so proud of our first year, and know that this is only the beginning of our efforts as a business to systematically give back and build a business model that can truly make a positive difference in the world.