The largest manufacturer of medical apparel in the world, Careismatic Brands Inc. (CBI), is giving back to the healthcare community. Through its brand Cherokee Uniforms, the company recently donated over 27,000 medical uniforms to Just Cause Scrubs, a medical scrubs e-commerce platform that donates 50% of its net profits to charity partners. Every time someone buys a pair of scrubs on their website, they donate half of the profits to charity.
With this donation from CBI, the organization plans to work with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) to provide these uniforms to its members at a steep discount. The NAFC represents 1,400 free and charitable clinics and pharmacies across the country that provide affordable quality care to medically underserved people and communities.
Cherokee Uniforms is known for selling some of the best and most fashionable scrubs on the market. But now these scrubs will go to providers at free or low-cost clinics that are making a difference in the communities they serve.
The donation culminated a lifetime of work for Dr. Scott Porter, MD, the founder of Just Cause Scrubs, who has always had a passion for helping other people. After spending over 15 years studying oncology and orthopedic surgery, he opened his own practice. But instead of trying to make money, he used the clinic’s profits to pay for the expenses of patients that couldn’t afford care.
He found philanthropy to be a “natural remedy for the inevitable emotional roller coaster of big surgeries.”
Porter eventually went back to school to earn his MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He used his business acumen to pair his passion for entrepreneurship and philanthropy and created Just Cause Scrubs a short while later.
“The pandemic has highlighted the disparity in access to healthcare across the country,” said Dr. Porter. “Thankfully organizations such as the NAFC are providing much-needed services to communities in need, and we’re thrilled Cherokee Uniforms is joining with Just Cause to further the great work the NAFC is already doing.”
He has been steadily growing the organization through word-of-mouth, but he has had trouble competing against some of the biggest brands online. However, the donation from Cherokee Uniforms is a major step in the right direction.
Porter encourages other providers and aspiring philanthropists to start their own passion projects. His advice: you will likely underestimate the amount of resources you need to bring your idea to life. He learned this lesson the hard way when Just Cause Scrubs was just getting off the ground.
“You’re going to underfund this; there’s no way you’re going to give it enough money,” his friend told him at the time. And that turned out to be 100% correct. His biggest challenge was balancing his idea for a charity with growth. Donating half of all profits to charity didn’t leave a lot of cash for investments.
He admits running a business isn’t the same as treating cancer. “You can’t go in with a rigid plan, or you’ll lose,” he said.
He credits his success to the people that have supported his vision over the years, including CBI and the NAFC.
“We are grateful that the NAFC and our member clinics have been selected to access these garments,” said Nicole Lamoureux, NAFC President and CEO. “Our member clinics operate with the support of donations and volunteers; having access to items like these at deeply discounted cost helps our providers continue providing access to care for those who need it most in their communities, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
CBI and everyone at Cherokee Uniforms is proud to stand with Just Cause Scrubs and the NAFC. Follow Dr. Porter’s journey on Instagram @justcausescrubs.