From Gucci to Armani to VOGUE to The British Fashion Council, the world's biggest brands and buisnesses are helping to tackle the deadly virus. We wanted to draw attention to some of the amazing work the fashion industry is currently achieving during this difficult time.
The global pandemic of Covid-19 has resulted in the closure of many fashion retail stores along with many eCommerce websites however, with this we have seen the opportunity to use the fashion industry as a key service; to support in the creation and distribution of essential equipment, in a joint effort to fight the virus.
Within an global pandemic, it is hard to determine how people will react, not least because we haven’t experience anything like this before, but more so because of the uncertainty and anxiety it has caused many people. From loo roll panic buying to disobeying government rules, our behaviour hasn’t always been predictable or praised. However, within the nonsense, we have seen an overwhelming global effort to support our health services and front line staff.
Leading through philanthropy, not only have large scale fashion brands donated millions to the cause, to try and find a vaccine and support those who are vulnerable, they are also converting factories to produce anything from hand sanitiser to face masks. “This pandemic calls us to an unexpected task, but it is a call to which we respond decisively, advocating the selfless work carried out by health workers, doctors and nurses on the front lines every day in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.” Explains Alessandro Michele, creative director of Gucci.
Here's how some of our household names are supporting their countries through this crisis as well as through global initiatives.
CANALI/ TODS/ PRADA
Sadly, for some weeks we have seen Italy hit hard by this crisis, but with thanks to their largest industry they are slowly finding a light at the end of the tunnel. An example of how Italy’s fashion houses have pulled together in this time of need is through The Canali Group who have donated €200,000 to the San Gerardo Hospital in Monza through the brand’s Fondazione Canali Onlus, a nonprofit organisations set up by the Canali family in 2013. Meanwhile Tod’s have allocated 5 million euros to support family members of health personnel who lost their lives in the fight against Covid-19. Elsewhere Prada has amazingly donated two complete intensive care and resuscitation units to Milan's hospitals and started to produce 80,000 medical overalls and 110,000 masks to be allocated to healthcare personnel.
“At Zegna we believe our actions today will shape our tomorrow. The pandemic we are all facing is a call for people around the world to take action. Each of us must do our part, in every way possible, to stop this global emergency”, says Gildo Zegna, CEO. To support in this crisis the Zegna family converted their factories to support
Acting as a reminder that through a joint effort we will make it through the pandemic, The Zegna group have joint forces with the the Biella textile district and Unione Industriale Biellese, to provide protective hospital suits for medical staff. They aim to produce 280,000 units in both Italy and Switzerland to help these countries with critically needed supplies.
THE KERING GROUP
The Kering Group is home to some of our most known household names within Luxury fashion, from the house of Belenciaga to Gucci to Yves Saint Laurent to Brioni, The Kering Group themselves, is set to provide the french health services with 3 million surgical masks, purchased and imported from China. Meanwhile, there individual fashion houses are preparing to manufacture masks in addition to this. They have also generously made a financial donation to the Institute Pasteur to support its research into Covid-19, donated 2 million euros to crowdfunding campaigns and is using their huge social media following to call for worldwide donations to the Solidarity Response Fund for WHO, which will be matched by Facebook.
Net-A-Porter, the luxury etailer has suspended all orders due to Covid-19 and is rather dedicating its entire feet of vehicles in London to the delivery of supplies for vulnerable people. The vans will be ensuring the most vulnerable members of our communities receive the food they need and medical support though a partnership with several London branches of Age UK. They have additionally donated laptops and digital education packages to young children in Italy, their home country.
New Balance have simply stated there new philiosphy of “Made shoes yesterday. Making masks today.” in one of their latest instagram posts as they announced they will be “all hands of deck” in attempting to make up for the shortfall of face masks for the hospital community. They will be actively supporting in America's fight against the virus as they become the hardest hit country to date.
H&M, taking a different approach, has decided to use its platforms to help with the crisis, allowing global aid organisations such as the Red Cross to utilise their social media channels to spread crucial messages about COVID-19 pandemic to the world. The fashion retailer currently has over 120 million followers across the globe, with 8.3 million on twitter alone, allowing its post and social media campaigns to further spread messages across to millions of people.
In the midst of the global pandemic COVID-19, the world leader in luxury LVMH and the parent company of French luxury brands such as the Christian Dior and Givenchy are standing together in solidarity and “corporate philanthropy”. They are busy using their once perfume factories to provide free hydroalcoholic gel hand sanitizer in very large quantities to public services. Louis Vuitton has also started producing hospital gowns at its ready-to-wear atelier in Paris before being sent to voluteers working from home to sew and finish. The gowns are then distributed to six hospitals throughout Paris.
In aid of the Uks effort to protect against the virus, both Burberry and Barbour have announced that they will be dedicating their factories to produce surgical masks, non-surgical masks and gowns for medical staff and patients across the UK. Over 100,000 surgical masks will be delivered to the UK National Health Service, for use by medical staff. Barbour have even packaged them creatively, adding a little joy and British humour when needed.
In addition, Burberry will also be funding research into a single-dose vaccine developed by the University of Oxford, as well as donate to charities like FareShare and The Felix Project, that help tackle food poverty in the country.
NOBIS/ CANADA GOOSE
Canada Goose have dedicated two of its manufacturing facilities to produce medical scrubs for hospitals around Canada with a goal of producing 10,000 units at no cost to local hospitals. Likely, Nobis will be donating 100% of online sales to The Red Cross' COVID-19 relief efforts.
In times like these, every little helps, and doing something as small as asking a neighbour if they need anything from the shop can go a long way. In light of this, we have been supporting vulnerable people locally though The Tuebrook Hope Centre in Liverpool, donating food and dropping it off around Tuebrook area to support those in need. “We’ve donated money to the Tuebrook Hope Centre that looks after the residents in the Tuebrook and adjoining communities. This amazing project is ran by Steve Radford and colleagues who provide “direct support and help to promote better health, economic activity, education and community engagement”. Currently they are delivering fresh food to the elderly and young families who need support during this crisis.” Explains Dale Allman, Co-founder of Union 22. If you would like to help through either a donation or through volunteering please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Despite the fashion industry taking a noticeable hit, with every store shut here in the UK and a similar story happening in other major cities across the globe, major donors from all over the world are doing their bit to help fund the fight against the virus. Big or Small, every action helps and it is crucial to support each other where able through these difficult times. When this is all over, we urge you to remember the companies that did good in times like this. We owe it to support those who supported us and we thank them all from the bottom of our hearts.