The coronavirus pandemic has impacted our daily lives drastically. It poses a challenge to hospitals everywhere which struggle to keep up with the rapid surge of patient admissions. In order to help, numerous fashion labels have responded by focussing their production lines on manufacturing masks and other protective equipment to help keep the medical system afloat.
Italy, which has been declared the second epicentre of the virus after China has received a particular support by its renowned fashion industry. Italian luxury brand Gucci has announced plans to produce and donate over one million masks and 55.000 overalls for the protection of medical professionals in the Tuscany region. Swiftly followed by Prada, which took the initiative in reconfiguring its factories in Perugia to focus its production on fabricating masks also intended for Tuscan hospitals.
In keeping with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) preventative emphasis on the importance of proper hand hygiene, French luxury group LVMH is using its perfume and cosmetic manufacturers to facilitate the production of hydro alcoholic gel. This will be distributed, without charge, to health authorities in France. Following its lead, Italian brand Bulgari, also started the production of thousands of bottles of hand sanitizers which will be donated to medical services throughout Italy.
Aside from changing its production lines from fashion garments to masks and hand sanitizer, many fashion labels have found additional ways to help combat the virus. Gucci has pledged to donate two million euros to a crowdfunding campaign which aims to support the World Health Organization and the Italian Civilian Protection Department.
As millions of dollars continue to be raised by large and small fashion companies, famous personalities on Instagram use their influence to play a part in combating the crisis. Italian fashion blogger and entrepreneur Chiara Ferragni has launched her own fundraising campaign for Italian hospitals which raised over 4 million dollars. Ferragni continues to spread the message of social distancing and the severity of the issue to her international followers. She stated on her Instagram “from a huge voice comes a huge responsibility. I’m trying my best to help my country and do what’s right for the people because I feel it’s my responsibility. Please do the same”, in hoping to help encourage people to play their part.
The efforts of the fashion industry are remarkable. Not only do they offer life saving equipment to those who need it the most but they spread a message of hope at the same time. Gucci, Prada and the like demonstrate that even “the big guys” are here to collaborate and help in a struggle that challenges each and every nation on this planet.