From producing face masks and manufacturing isolation gowns to donating millions, some of the world’s biggest brands are pledging their support to help fight the spread of Covid-19.
TEXT: ADAM BRYCE
LVMH were quick to react to the devastating effects of Covid-19 and their French factories (normally used to make perfumes and cosmetics for brands including Dior, Loewe and Givenchy) have been repurposed to manufacture hand-sanitising gel in a bid to prevent a nationwide shortage. They’re also donating 40 million face masks from China to the French authorities.
Kering , the owners of Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and Gucci have order three million masks from China, while they prepares to manufacture masks at Balenciaga’s Paris workshop and Saint Laurent’s ready-to-wear factory in Angers, France.
Ralph Lauren have redirected their US manufacturing partners to produce 25,000 isolation gowns and 250,000 masks. The iconic American company have also pledged a staggering US$10 million to help stop Covid-19’s spread or, at least, mitigate its effects.
As we all know, Italy has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Italian hospitals are desperately short of breathing respirators and ventilators and their primary producer, Bologna-based Siare Engineering International Group, have turned to Ferrari for help to increase its weekly output from 150 machines to 500.
Nike have pledged US$15 million to help fight Covid-19. The company renowned for their innovation are also working with Oregon Health & Science University to create personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and nurses on the frontline of the pandemic.
Apple have just released an app designed with the guidance of the White House’s Covid-19 task force, which allows users to answer a series of questions around risk factors, recent exposure and symptoms for themselves or a loved one. In turn, they will receive CDC recommendations on next steps, including guidance on social distancing and self-isolating, how to closely monitor symptoms, whether or not a test is recommended and when to contact a medical provider.
Uniqlo ’s parent company, Fast Retailing, will produce some 10 million face masks in their factories over the next two months to be distributed by governments around the world to those in most need of protection.
Having already donated €2 million to the cause, Armani have started to make single-use medical overalls at each of their Italian factories for hospital workers.
“We are producing prototypes for face masks in our Lawrence, MA manufacturing facility,” the footwear brand, New Balance, said in a release posted on its website on the evening of 27 March, adding “and [we] hope to scale production using our other New England factories soon.”
Not a global giant but an excellent example of how brands of all sizes can help in their own way, New York-based Pyer Moss have pledged US$50,000 in funds for “minority and women-owned small creative businesses”. They’ve also converted their Chelsea-based headquarters as a donation centre for critical supplies. They’ll also put aside a further US$5,000 to purchase supplies should anyone have “leads about where to buy them.”