It had to be possible, he thought. “I’m hoping we’re able to build on this idea that we work efficiently, we work effectively, we have more free time to live our lives and do the things that actually inspire the brand,” he said. Because, Babenzien explained, nothing less than the soul of Noah relied on finding a way to make it so. “The brand is nothing without those things—without surfing and skating and running and music and interest in design and art and literature. Without all that, we don’t exist.”
Rethinking the culture of work was a task for another day. Now, there were T-shirts to sell. By the middle of April, Babenzien had settled on a charitable vehicle: a limited-run tee, with a first aid symbol substituted for Noah’s signature cross and “THANK YOU” printed across the back for first responders. Sales would raise money for coronavirus relief.