The COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly altered daily life around the world. Many cities have gone into lockdown as hospitals and healthcare workers become overwhelmed, and non-essential businesses have been forced to close. However, many companies are employing their manufacturing and philanthropic capabilities to provide much-needed aid to various urgent causes. In the face of such adversity, global conglomerates and independent enterprises alike are utilizing their resources to halt the progression of COVID-19 and give back to the communities whose lives have been significantly impacted by this highly infectious virus.
Legendary jewelry and luxury goods brand BVLGARI is doing its part to bring essential relief to Italy’s healthcare system throughout this difficult time. As the country with the highest mortality rate, BVLGARI has teamed up with their parfum manufacturing partner ICR (Industrie Cosmetiche Riunite, Lodi) to produce and distribute sanitizer gel to be allocated to all medical facilities by the Italian Government. “Aware of the difficult situation we are experiencing, we believe it is our duty to contribute with our know-how and production facilities,” said the company’s CEO Jean-Christophe Babin.
Innovative intimates brand Knix has successfully raised over $80,000 to donate over 100,000 units of Personal Protective Equipment to Canadian hospitals. Founder and CEO Joanna Griffiths was compelled to create a crowd-sourcing initiative after being notified by her brother, Dr. Chris Griffiths, that the Hamilton hospital he worked at was in dire need of PPE for his fellow frontline workers. “This is a point in time that we will all look back on and ask ourselves if we did everything we could to help. Our PPE campaign is our way of saying thank you to all of the frontline workers that are tirelessly working day and night to fight COVID-19,” reveals Griffiths.
Outerwear brand Canada Goose has officially announced that it will begin production on essential medical gear for healthcare workers and patients across Canada. The company has vowed to donate medical scrubs and patient gowns, and will begin distributing them to hospitals nationwide as early as next week, with an initial goal of manufacturing 10,000 units. The initiative will commence in factories located in Toronto and Winnipeg, and is part of the Canada Goose Response Program.
Gucci, an emblem of Italian fashion and artisanal craftsmanship, is directly giving back to its homeland in a benevolent manner. The company has donated €1 million to National Protezione Civile Department to help secure new ICU beds and reinforce the nation’s health care system. Gucci has also given away another €1 million to United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in direct support of the World Health Organization, which aims to provide essential resources in vaccine development and therapies, alongside the distribution of medical equipment.
Balenciaga & Saint Laurent
Alongside Gucci, Kering-owned brands Saint Laurent and Balenciaga have halted their production of ready-to-wear and accessories in order to turn their sights to combatting COVID-19. The labels’ French workshops will now manufacture masks for French hospitals, while also implementing strict measures to maintain the health and safety of their workers. Kering has also purchased three million masks from China, and will distribute to the nation’s health services immediately.
Clean cosmetics mainstay Wander Beauty is pledging to donate a Good to Go Mini Hair Essentials Kit to healthcare workers tackling the pandemic. With the purchase of any full-sized skincare, hair, or body product between April 1 and 3, the company will generously contribute a deluxe-sized All-Inclusive Shampoo & Body Wash and Scenic Hair Route Treatment to the heroic individuals in healthcare helping and healing patients.
Having already donated €2 million to various Italian hospitals, Giorgio Armani has elevated his brand’s response to the worldwide pandemic. The storied designer has pledged to produce single-use medical overalls in all four of his Italian production sites, utilizing his immediate resources to combat this widespread illness.
Cult streetwear designer Pyer Moss has set aside $50,000 for mask and medical supplies that will be distributed to local New York hospitals through his newly-established Your Friends in New York network. Furthermore, donations will also be made to small businesses run by minorities and women who are feeling the effects of the financial burden brought forth by coronavirus.
Sandro will repurpose old textiles to fabricate and distribute 10,000 masks to non-medical workers throughout various hospitals in France in order to prioritize the use of regulated masks for essential personnel. The French brand is giving breakfast to hospital employees every Friday at various alternating locations worldwide, and is also selling a t-shirt on their website with 100% of the profits going to the Red Cross.
The parent company to Valentino, Balmain, and Pal Zieri has upped its philanthropic response to COVID-19 by donating a brand new negative pressure ventilation installation to Sacco Hospital located in Milan. It will also give €1 million to subsidize coronavirus-related expenses at this healthcare facility, alongside another €1 million bursary to Protezione Civile Italiana, a government organization dedicated to providing relief for natural disasters and catastrophes.
CHANEL has announced that over an eight week period from March 16th to May 8th, it will fully maintain the salaries of the 8,500 employees in France, asking the employees to stay in solidarity during this time to help combat the spread of COVID-19. On top of the 50,000 face masks already donated, the company is pending approval to begin production on protective masks and gowns, thanks to the efforts of 150 of their sewing specialists. CHANEL has also donated €1.2 million to Fondation de l’AP-HP, the Fondation Georges Pompidou, and the SAMU to support front line hospital workers.
John D. Idol, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Capri Holdings Limited, announced the brand commitments from Versace, Michael Kors, and Jimmy Choo with a combined donation of over $3 million in support of COVID-19 relief efforts. The Michael Kors brand will donate $1 million to support local relief in New York City. Michael Kors and John Idol will also donate $1 million across NYU Langone Health, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, God’s Love We Deliver, and A Common Thread, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund for COVID-19. Versace will donate $500,000 for relief efforts in Milan, including San Raffaele Hospital and Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana, which is additional to the ¥1 million that was donated to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation in February. Jimmy Choo will be donating $250,000 to the National Health Service COVID-19 Urgent Appeal by NHS Charities Together in its home country, as well as $250,000 to The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Tiffany & Co. Foundation
The Tiffany & Co. Foundation has announced a $1 million commitment to help with COVID-19 relief. Of that $1 million, $750,000 will go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, and $250,000 will go to The New York Community Trust’s NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund. The company is matching employee donations to nonprofit organizations for COVID-19 relief, as well as joining Philanthropy’s Commitment During COVID-19 Pledge.
After having to temporarily closing nearly all of its stores and points-of-sale locations, HUGO BOSS has dedicated its production site at its Metzingen, Germany headquarters to produce face masks, with upwards of 200,000 reusable masks being produced and donated in the coming weeks. The house is also donating 20% of all U.S. online sales to American Red Cross to help provide COVID-19 relief, and is set to host virtual internal meetings to discuss further development and financial plans of action.
Louis Vuitton is producing hundreds of thousands of non-surgical protective masks in its French workshops in Marsaz and Saint-Donat, Saint-Pourçain, Ducey, and Sainte-Florence. The artisans are voluntarily working to produce masks to provide to frontline healthcare workers. Louis Vuitton Chairman and CEO Michael Burke stated in response to the volunteer artisans: “As an important French House, Louis Vuitton wishes to commit at its level to producing many thousands of masks that will be distributed within the region, at no charge, to protect those who are most exposed. This production is the fruit of a wonderful collaboration with the regional sector of the textile industry.”