3 months, 187 countries, areas or territories, around 3,82,400 confirmed cases (edited – March 24th, 2020). These numbers are a mere representation of how life, as we know it, has turned upside down amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. And while we struggle to escape bad news, we have healthcare officials, governments, NGOs, celebrities, and brands that are supporting this fight against the new Coronavirus.
Though nothing beats the work and sacrifices of healthcare authorities across the globe in this disruptive situation, there are luxury conglomerates and quite a few indie brands that are pitching in aid for them as well as those most affected by the advent of coronavirus-caused shutdowns. From LVMH using three of its luxury perfume and cosmetics facilities (Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain, Parfums Givenchy) to produce free sanitizing gel for local French hospitals and authorities and pledging to provide 40 million masks to Prada S.p.A. funding two new ICUs each in three of Milan’s prominent hospitals and L’Oréal donating millions in funds and services through its Europe-wide solidarity programme – the luxury crew has really and truly stepped up in this ravaging situation. Even Kering has pledged to provide 3 million surgical masks (purchased and imported from China) to the French health service in the coming days and to prep up the French workshops of Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent to manufacture masks. Besides this, they have also made donations to four major hospitals in Lombardy, Tuscany, Veneto, and Lazio. Meanwhile, Gucci has also responded to the call for masks and medical overalls and will be possibly donating 1.1 million masks and 55,000 medical overalls in the coming weeks. Then there’s Pronovias Group donating wedding dresses to all the brides that are working on the frontlines of this pandemic. Also, many of these luxury conglomerates and brands such as LVMH, Kering, ELC, Versace, Zegna Group and Hermes had even made donations during the coronavirus outbreak in China.
Joining this kindness crew, we also have Chiara Ferragni, Giorgio Armani, Bvlgari, Moncler, Mayhoola (parent company of Valentino, Balmain & Pal Zileri), Sergio Rossi, Marco Bizzarri (CEO – Gucci), and Donatella Versace and her daughter Allegra Versace, who all have donated many millions to support Italian hospitals, medical researchers and citizens in need. Amongst this crew, Moncler stands out for its $11 million donation to support the construction of a new hospital in Milan with over 400 ICUs. And then, in Spain, we have Inditex (parent company of Zara) making its factories and logistics team available to produce hospital gowns and masks for patients and medical staff alike. Following their footsteps, we have Mango donating 2 million masks to Spanish hospitals over the next few days and H&M Group making its supply chain available to produce personal protective equipment for hospital and healthcare workers which will be delivered across the world in a collaboration with the European Union. And the latest to join this crew is Estee Lauder Companies (ELC), they have pledged $2 million dollars to Doctors Without Borders and are supporting $75 million NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, administered by the New York Community Trust. They have also made a manufacturing facility available for production of hand sanitizers, just like Coty Inc.
As the coronavirus cases keep grow rapidly, many existing members of this kindness crew have amped up their support. Like Prada keeping its factory open in Perugia for mask and medical overalls production and pledging to deliver 80,000 overalls and 110,000 masks to Tuscan hospitals, Gucci donating €1 million each to the Italian Civil Protection Department (in partnership with Intesa Sanpaolo’s For Funding platform) and the United Nations Foundation’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund (In support of WHO through Facebook’s $10 million Matching Fundraiser), and L’Oréal donating a significant amout of hand sanitizers, lotions, and masks to New Jersey. And recently, we have had Ralph Lauren Foundation donating $10 million for Covid-19 relief (including $1 million to Vogue/CVFF Fund – A Common Thread for small businesses) along with pledging to make 250K non-medical masks and 25K medical gowns and the Zegna Family donating €3 million to the Civil Protection in Italy along with converting facilities in Italy and Switzerland to make masks and hospital gowns. Then we have Dyson use its revolutionary digital motor technology to develop the ventilator – CoVent and pledge to donate 5000 ventilators for the international relief along with UK Government’s order of 10K ventilators for NHS.
In a rally to support food banks, many American brands have made the first move by donating the sales/profits of a week or a month to a range of organizations like No Kid Hungry and Feeding America. Coco Shop, Viva Aviva, Farmacy, Lipslut, Freda Salvador, Abacaxi, Heartloom, TAI Jewelry, Loup, Suzanne Rae, Haus Laboratories, and Bagtazo are just a few of the many American contributors. In addition, Pyer Moss has converted its NYC office into a donation center for masks, gloves and other basic supplies to help out medical professionals and has even set out a fund of $50,000 for minority and women-owned small creative businesses that are currently in distress and Christian Siriano has made his sewing team and pattern makers available to make about a 1000 masks for NYC hospitals. Joining Siriano, we have Brandon Maxwell who has made his team available to make medical gowns for frontliners and is also figuring out production of masks and gloves. And even Instagram’s favourite Cult Gaia is offering 20% off its entire site through the end of the month and will be donating 10% of sales to No Kid Hungry. Then in the United Kingdom, we have Alighieri Jewellery donating 20% of any website orders to Trussel Trust (who are supporting Food Banks around the UK) and Three Graces London donating 100% of net sales from all products sold online until 1st April to the homeless charity, Crisis.
And closer home, we have had Fizzy Goblet team up with NGO HelpAge India to donate 200 health kits (which included sanitizer, handwash, masks, Vitamin C and Paracetamol tablets) for the underprivileged and elderly and Vilvah set up an initiative to give out free sanitizers for medical workers, delivery partners, and others that are at high risk of exposure. Even Anita Dongre Foundation has set up a dedicated medical fund of Rs. 15 million for their smaller vendors, self-employed artisans, and partners who don’t have medical coverage. Other Indian designers/brands that have pledged to support their artisans include Sabyasachi, Torani, Ekaya and House of Angadi. Then there’s Kshitij Jalori who has announced that 40% proceeds from all orders placed during the 21 day lockdown peroid (23rd March – 14th April) will be sent to PM Relief Fund and to The Handloom Weavers in Benaras,
Well, you don’t always need big money, but a big heart is an absolute must. So instead of just feeling helpless and nervous, go ahead and support local NGOs, small businesses, and the ones that are still out there working so that these isolating days could be a little easier for you. And if you are shopping, please be responsible and try to support brands that are giving back to the community, shopping with good purpose results in a happier heart. By the way, keep practicing social distancing, after all, as our editor Charu Gaur says, “Maintain distance now so that we can hug soon.”
P.S. We’ll keep you updated as and when more brands pitch in. Or if you know of any, let us know in the comments.
Updated March 27th, 2020.
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