The novel coronavirus is a global pandemic that has altered the way we live. Federal and local authorities have urged—and in some cases, mandated—their citizens to self-quarantine, leading to closures of schools, businesses, and public facilities. More pressing, hospitals are filling to capacity and draining the essential equipment they need to treat patients—particularly, surgical gloves and N95 face masks.
In the United States alone, the BBC reports more than 35,175 cases of coronavirus, a statistic expected to swell in the coming weeks. The outlet marks China at 81,496; Italy, Europe’s worst-hit country, is listed with 59,138, Spain with 33,089, and Germany with 26,220. As of today, there are more than 340,000 confirmed cases worldwide, prompting many government officials to call for aid. They are asking organizations not only to be vigilant, but to help out as best they can.
Many fashion and beauty companies, the majority of which have ceased production altogether, have heeded the call, stepping up to taper down the adverse effects caused by COVID-19. Some are global firms with a breadth of resources, while others are small, independent companies. But all, in their own ways, are committed to stopping the spread of the disease, providing assistance to those who need it during this trying time, or a combination of both. See below the brands that are playing their parts.
The Italian label is providing 1,100,000 surgical masks and 55,000 medical overalls. It also plans on donating to crowdfunding campaigns that are supporting relief efforts, including the Italian Civil Protection Department and the the World Health Organizations's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. In addition, through #GucciCommunity, it is asking fans to make a donation to the WHO's initiative, along with giving the agency complete access to its social media channels in the hopes of amplifying official public service information.
The American lifestyle brand has pledged $10 million to coronavirus relief efforts, the biggest donation by a luxury company thus far. The grant will go to the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the Emergency Assistance Foundation, and its Pink Pony Fund, which supports a network of international cancer institutions. It is also starting production on 250,000 face masks and 25,000 isolation gowns for healthcare workers. Additionally, the firm gifted an undisclosed amount to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund to help fashion designers hit by the economic downturn. “We believe that no matter who you are or where you are from, we are all connected," said Ralph Lauren in a statement. "That is why we are taking significant action to help our teams and communities through this crisis.”
Prada S.p.A is financing the ICUs of three new hospitals in Milan. The Italian company has also reconfigured its factory in Perugia to produce 110,000 masks and 80,000 medical garments that will be delivered to Tuscan hospitals on April 6.
The French luxury conglomerate is using the manufacturing facilities of its perfume and cosmetics brands to process large amounts of hydroalcoholic gel, which it will distribute free of charge to health authorities in France. It has also promised to donate 40 million face masks. “Through this initiative, LVMH intends to help address the risk and lack of product in France and enable a greater number of people to continue to take the right action to protect themselves from the spread of the virus,” read a statement issued by the company.
Many of the brands under the luxury company have pledged aid. The workshops of Gucci (see above), Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga will be producing face masks as soon as they get approval from health authorities.
Following the lead of LVMH, its parent company, the Italian jewelry brand, with fragrance partner ICR, will produce more than 100,000 hand sanitizer bottles that will be distributed through the Italian Civil Protection Department. Bulgari has also donated funds to the Spallanzani Hospital, which acquired a new microscope for researches looking to eradicate the novel coronavirus.
The parent company of Valentino, Balmain, and Pal Zileri will donate a new negative pressure ventilation installation to the Sacco Hospital in Milan. It will also donate €1 million to cover all the expenses related to the spread of coronavirus at the hospital, and another million to Protezione Civile Italiana, a government organization that deals with national disasters and catastrophes.
Jewelry Brands for No Kid Hungry
Spearheaded by publicists Danielle Gadi and Jennifer Lowitz, more than 100 jewelry brands have banded together for No Kid Hungry, an organization that provides meals to children across America—many of whom relied on the sustenance provided by schools that are now closed because of COVID-19. They include Irene Neuwirth, Brent Neale, Retrouvai, Jemma Wynne, Colette, and Zoë Chicco—all who will be donating between 10 and 30 percent of sales to the nonprofit.
The beauty corporation donated a $2 million grant to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières to support its efforts in countries that lack substantial resources to combat the coronavirus. It also announced the reopening of a factory in Melville, New York, which will start producing hydroalcoholic gel. “The Estée Lauder Companies is proud to contribute to the broader COVID-19 relief efforts by reopening our Melville manufacturing facility this week to produce hand sanitizer for high-need groups and populations, including front-line medical staff,” it tells WWD.
The its H&M Foundation, the Swedish retailer has donated $500,000 to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The company is also arranging its vast supply chain to produce personal protective equipment that will be distributed to hospitals around the globe. It also giving global aid organizations access to it is social media platforms so as to spread messages of health and safety.
Mario and Enrico Moretti Polegato, presidents of Geox and Diadora, have donated €1 million to health services in the Veneto region of Italy. Said the former in a statement, “In this historic moment of extreme emergency that Italy and Veneto are experiencing, it is our moral duty to support our doctors and nurses, working every day at the forefront in the fight against an invisible yet so fearful enemy, which makes us all equal, vulnerable, helpless.”
The beauty company will donate 15 percent of all purchases to Feeding America, an organization that supports a network of food banks across the nation.
The outerwear brand’s manufacturing facilities in Toronto and Winnipeg will begin making scrubs and patient gowns that will be distributed to hospitals in its home nation. “Across Canada, there are people risking their lives every day on the frontlines of COVID-19 in healthcare facilities, and they need help,” said Dani Reiss, president and CEO of Canada Goose. “Now is the time to put our manufacturing resources and capabilities to work for the greater good.” The company has also donated RMB 1 million to the Wuhan Charity Federation to help fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
Coalition of American Brands
Fruit of the Loom, Parkdale Inc., Hanesbrands, American Giant, Beverly Knits, Los Angeles Apparel, Riegel Linen, AST Sportswear, and American Knits have all banded together to produce and distribute medical-grade masks.
The French apparel brand is distributing 10,000 masks made from excess fabric to non-medical workers (so the medical-grade ones can be prioritized for essential personnel) at hospitals across France (particularly the Aulnay-sous-Bois hospital) and later throughout Europe and possibly the United States. It will also offer breakfast to hospital employees every Friday in alternating cities throughout the globe. The company has also designed a shirt that will be sold on its website, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Red Cross.
The Barcelona-based apparel company has committed to donating two million masks that comply with the Spanish Ministry of Health’s guidelines to hospitals throughout the nation.
The beauty manufacturer behind CoverGirl and Calvin Klein fragrances is using its production facilities to make hydroalcoholic gel for medical and emergency services. “We stay close to our communities during these exceptionally challenging times,” said the company in a statement.
The apparel brand has formed a network called Your Friends in New York and set aside $50,000 to obtain N95 masks and medical supplies that it will distribute to local hospitals. It will be also providing financial aid to small minority- and women-led businesses suffering from this economic downturn.
The designer offered to help sew face masks in the wake of a possible medical supply shortage in the state of New York. “I am just in a unique scenario where I manufacture everything in New York already, I have a working atelier and everyone's working from home, and my office is a townhouse,” he tells BAZAAR.com.
The Galicia-based umbrella company of Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Stradivarius has produced and shipped a great number of surgical masks to coronavirus patients and medical professionals in Spain, and will continue to do so. It also plans on manufacturing hospital gowns in its factories.
The brand is perfectly suited to aid in this global pandemic, manufacturing liquid-repellent sneakers for healthcare workers. And with the coronavirus lasting on surfaces for prolonged periods, the fact that these kicks are easier to clean are handy during this time. So far, the startup has donated $45,000-worth of sneakers to doctors and nurses that were testing patients at a hospital in Philadelphia.
The Los Angeles–based brand has pledged 10 percent of purchases up to $100,000 to the UCLA Health Fund. It has also made a donation of $10,000 to the organization.
The Los Angeles–based designer has designed a cotton-nylon blend protective mask with a 70-to-74 percent air filtration effectiveness rate, in comparison to the 97 percent effectiveness of surgical face masks. His team will produce 20,000 that will be donated to medical professionals, first responders, and hospitals in L.A. County.
The eponymous designer has donated $1.4 million to hospitals and health organizations in Italy.
Donatella and Allegra Versace have pledged €200,000 to the ICU at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan.
Karla Colletto Swimwear
The brand has converted its factory in Virginia to produce protective equipment that it will distribute to medical professionals.
While its corporate offices and stores are closed, the label is producing over 5 million N95 masks to support the medical community, according to a statement.
The company, which includes Gap, Old Navy, Athleta, Banana Republic, Intermix, Hill City and Janie and Jack brands, released a statement on Twitter saying it would "work with vendors to deliver PPE (personal protective equipment) supplies" and "pivot resources so factory partners can make masks, gowns, and scrubs for healthcare workers on the front lines."
Kim Kardashian pledged to donate 20 percent of Skims’ profits to Baby2Baby’s response program, which is committed to providing essentials to babies, especially those impacted by COVID19 during this time. According to a Skims rep, Baby2Baby has distributed over 1.3 million items including diapers, formula, hygiene, clothing, blankets and more in five days.
The brand donated RMB 1,000,000 (approximately $143,000 USD) to the Soong Ching Ling Foundation to aid victims of this outbreak. It also sent basic medical necessities such as facial masks through MCM's group donation channel, the Sungjoo Foundation, in an effort to fight back.
The bag designer has raised more than $27,000 to purchase PPE for medial professionals that will be sent directly to hospitals.
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