Bright Companies That Bloomed in Lockdown

These five companies all flourished in the coronavirus crisis (and they’re not Amazon, Clorox or Zoom).

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has added more than $60 billion to his considerable fortune this year after the soaring demand for online shopping sparked by Covid-19 sent the company’s share price soaring. He’s now worth $178.5 billion, cementing his position as the world’s richest man.

With millions more working from home worldwide, online meeting site Zoom is also flying and founder Eric Yuan’s fortune has quadrupled to $13.1 billion. And Clorox shares have soared by 42.9 per cent since the beginning of the year, with the bleach company now valued at more than $30 billion.

While business is growing for these big guys, many companies are wilting in the unprecedented lockdown. But there are also some inspiring stories of boutique companies flourishing in the crisis. Here are a few who have caught our eye.



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The San Fransisco-based startup help customers “enjoy healthy, high-quality groceries that cost less and fight food waste.” Imperfect Foods deliver fresh “ugly produce” and surplus stock otherwise destined for waste to homes at 30 per cent off grocery store prices. Founded in 2015, they now serve 43 states and have saved 100 million pounds of imperfect food waste.

Online food sales are booming across the world, but the socially and environmentally conscious ethos of Imperfect is in line with changing attitudes of consumers and they seem a fitting grocery company for the times.

Check out their inventory of wonky carrots, broken chocolate pretzels and much more here.



With people at home finally taking on those home improvement jobs they have been putting off but not wanting to risk a trip the hardware store, e-commerce is again stepping up.

Husband and wife team Caleb and Natalie Ebel are shaking up the paint industry online. They have made the process of choosing their eco-friendly paint enjoyable and stress-free — with 50 carefully-curated colors in two finishes rather than thousands of shades and textures sending your mind into a spin.

Check out their site for inspiration and direct-to-consumer paints.




This Brooklyn-based company makes stylish wrap-around scarves and bandanas with a filter tucked inside to protect against germs, allergens and pollution. Scough — that’s scarf meets cough, of course — was launched six years ago but Covid-19 has sent demand soaring.

The secret sauce is activated carbon that traps and neutralizes germs and pollution and has 99.6 per cent filtration efficiency. It’s the same technology the military use against chemical warfare. They come in a range of scarf and bandana styles from $39 to $89. The Scough comes with the filter, but you are recommended to change them every three months and replacements cost $22.

We love the balance of keeping safe and stylish.


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With hygiene high on our agenda, this eco-friendly startup is cleaning up.

Cleancult deliver natural, cruelty-free cleaning products direct to your door in cool-looking glass bottles with refills in milk cartons to eradicate plastic waste. Products in their delivery bundles include hand soap, laundry detergent, dishwasher tablets and multi-purpose cleaner.

They are selling hand soap at cost price for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis and are also providing a free bar of soap to those in need for every purchase on their site. Their sales on Amazon have increased eight times over and sales on their own site have doubled.



Many people are looking for longer life — and animal friendly — alternatives to our pantry essentials to cut down on trips to the store. And also for ways to fill our time and keep our spirits up. Oatly leads the way when it comes to delicious alternatives to dairy milk — and alternative marketing too.

Their site is now packed with silly things to keep us entertained in quarantine, like turning our used oatmilk cartons into a puppet show. They write on their site: “Our creative department has momentarily lost all interest in trying to sell you our oat milk. Instead, we have focused on finding ways to help eliminate any unwanted stress and reduce the negative impact associated with an increase in boredom at home. The Oatly Department of Distraction Services is here to serve you.”

Oatly is a huge player in the alternative milk market now — it is the exclusive oat milk supplier for Starbucks — but they have kept that appealing startup feel. Oat milk sales are up 477 per cent in the US amid the Covid-19 crisis, and with nonsense like this Oatly are deserved recipients of some of that spike.

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