Fashion houses respond to Covid-19 pandemic

Before the Coronavirus struck the globe, health care workers were a largely invisible sector of society. Now they are at the forefront of the fight against the virus, putting their own lives at risk to help others.

And they are not going unappreciated. Even that traditionally most self-centred of industries, Fashion, is stepping up to support their heroic efforts.

Adapting fragrance production facilities for the manufacture of medical grade hand sanitizers (Bvlgari, Dior, Givenchy), and making masks and/or gowns (Armani, Chanel, Prada, Mulberry, Zara and a host of others), serves a dual purpose. Not only does this benefit medical personnel receiving the PPE, but workers of these companies continue to receive salaries instead of being laid off.

Other initiatives include charity auctions (The Kooples, David Koma), and donations of footwear to health workers (Sophia Webster, Puma, Nike). Designers of wedding and occasion wear Pronovias are offering their ‘Heroes Collection’ free to hospital staff getting married until 31st August.

Sophia Webster donated 200 pairs of sneakers to health workers

In New York City, Ralph Lauren has launched Ralph’s Coffee, a coffee truck that provides free coffee and baked goods to health care workers at the city’s hospitals.

Ralph’s Coffee

French company Sandro are using their scrap shirt fabric to make 10,000 non-medical masks for donation to hospitals. In addition, they offer breakfast every Friday to hospital staff in the cities of Madrid, Paris, London, Berlin and New York.

The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation will donate $10 million to coronavirus relief efforts. Gucci, in their turn pledged €2 million. Various amounts have also been pledged by among others Mac Cosmetics, Kering, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, and Tiffany&Co.

Prada is funding the ICU’s of three new hospitals in Milan, while Donatella and Allegra Versace have pledged €200,000 to the ICU at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan. Mayhoola, parent company of Valentino, Balmain, and Pal Zileri will donate a new negative pressure ventilation installation to the Sacco Hospital in Milan.

And these are only a few examples. The fashion industry is certainly not as uncaring as it is made out to be.

EG lecturer Stephan Olivier created bright and cheerful protective gowns for his doctor sister and her colleagues