How Fashion is Fighting Coronavirus
How Fashion is Fighting Coronavirus
Fashion is a multi-billion dollar industry. The luxury goods market alone is said to be worth around 339.4 billion dollars as reported by Global Fashion Industry statistics. Often berated for damaging the environment, having a large carbon-footprint and for being a throwaway industry, fashion is doing it’s bit to save the planet by implementing its resources to help fight the global war against Coronavirus. Across the board, many of world’s most recognisable luxury brands are pooling all of their resources into supporting the World Health Organisation’s fight against the global pandemic. How Fashion is Fighting Coronavirus is here to highlight how fashion might just be saving the world.
LVMH is a luxury giant owned by 71 year-old Bernard Arnault and is France’s biggest company. LVMH owns Louis Vuitton, Moët and Hennessy alongside some of the most recognisable names in the fashion industry. If you are interested in fashion, you may often ask yourself why Louis Vuitton is so expensive; it’s because Louis Vuitton is recognised as a real sign of quality and luxury. Their bags and luggage are never reduced and are made from both leather and a protective PVC coating, ensuring they are both waterproof and durable. Louis Vuitton symbolises wealth and opulence and is one of the key-factors in LVMH’s success. With the onset of Coronavirus and the growth rate of infections in France, LVMH’s cosmetics branch stepped up to solve a growing problem for the country in just 72 hours! Hand-sanitiser is so important in the fight against COVID-19 and when France reported a shortage, the group pooled all of its perfume-making resources, such as the factories responsible for Dior and Givenchy cosmetics, into making 12 tonnes of hand-sanitising gel for thirty-nine hospitals in Paris and will continue to honour this commitment for as long as necessary. Since then, other groups have followed suit with companies like L’Oréal providing hand-sanitiser for nursing homes and hospitals.
One of the most successful houses of the modern era, Gucci has halted some of its production of Gucci clothes for kids and adults in favour of providing 1,100,000 surgical masks and 55,000 medical overalls. In addition to this, an open letter from the company explained that they had already donated funds to China, Italy and France and were in the process of launching two crowd-fundraising campaigns and donating a further two millions Euros themselves to this; one million towards supporting the National Civil Protection Department in Italy and the other one million towards the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Gucci’s monetary response isn’t all they’ve done to help combat COVID-19, they’ve also dedicated their social media channels to sharing the public service announcements from the World Health Organisation too.
The factory responsible for making your Burberry kids trench coats in Castleford, Yorkshire has been repurposed and is now making non-surgical masks and gowns for patients in UK hospitals as well as fast-tracking the delivery of 100,000 surgical masks to the National Health Service for use by medical staff. In addition, Burberry are funding research at the University of Oxford into a single-dose vaccine to treat COVID-19. With one of the best track records for developing emergency vaccinations, the university are set to begin human trials this month. To ensure that no-one goes hungry, the brand have also donated to charities in the UK such as FareShare and The Felix project, charities that are dedicated to tackling food poverty when food is in short supply.
Said to be the richest fashion house in the world, Chanel started their fight against COVID-19 by also focusing their production lines to produce protective masks and blouses for French hospital workers. Looking after their own staff too, Chanel have promised to pay salaries for two-months so that workers won’t have to claim money from the French government for unemployment. In doing so, they are hoping that this will free up more funding from the government to aid the country’s own fight against the virus. In addition to this, Chanel have also donated $1.3 million to the emergency fund for the public hospital system in Paris.
The Armani group whose brands include Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani, are providing hospital workers with disposable medical overalls made at their Italian factories stating that they would be used for “the individual protection of healthcare workers engaged in the fight against the Coronavirus disease.” Alongside this, company founder Giorgio Armani has also donated 2 million euros in recent weeks to hospitals around northern Italy, one of the pandemic’s hardest hit areas.
Versace creative director Donatella and daughter Allegra pledged €200,000 to the Intensive Care Unit at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, with an additional $400,000 coming from the company. The brand that brought you Young Versace (now also known as Versace) are also expected to give $100,000 to Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana, aiding them in bringing ventilators and medical equipment to hospitals in Italy. Having also donated ¥1 million to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation in February, it would be difficult to fault the efforts of Versace in helping to combat Coronavirus both on their home soil and across the globe.
American lifestyle brand Ralph Lauren have donated $10 million to COVID-19 relief efforts, making them the most generous luxury brand in terms of fighting the global outbreak of Coronavirus to date. Some of the beneficiaries of this generous donation have been the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the Emergency Assistance Foundation and the Pink Pony Fund which helps to support a number of international cancer institutions. In addition, they too have started production on 250,000 face masks and 25,000 isolation gowns for health care workers.
During a time of economic hardship for designers, Ralph Lauren have also donated an undisclosed figure to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund to help them through these difficult financial times.
How Fashion is Fighting Coronavirus: Other brands fighting the pandemic
- Prada S.p.A is financing the ICU’s of three new hospitals in Milan and producing 80, 000 medical garments and 110,000 masks for use in Tuscan hospitals.
- Kurt Geiger has encouraged all of its UK staff to volunteer for the NHS whilst still receiving their full pay from the company.
- Michael Kors donated $2 million dollars (1 million of his own personal money and the second from his company under Capri Holdings) to New York based organisations supporting Coronavirus relief efforts
How can I help?
With so much going on remember, it’s okay to feel helpless sometimes! But remember by staying at home, washing your hands and listening to Government updates, you’re being a hero too! If everyone pulls together, just like the fashion houses you’ve read about here, we can all help to tackle this together!