It's a time of uncertainty across the globe as the number of people affected by the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to climb. As of today, the total number of reported cases around the world has reached over 700,000.
In the midst of it all, several global fashion companies are stepping up to the plate and donating funds to fight the contagious virus. LVMH, parent company of Louis Vuitton, Dior and other luxury labels, have contributed US$2.3 million to the cause. Kering Group, the parent company of Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga to name just a few of its brands, have donated US$1 million.
Gucci alone has so far have donated €1 million to the National Civil Protection Department using Intesa Sanpaolo’s crowd-funding platform, ForFunding. Through a dedicated webpage, the #GucciCommunity can also contribute to the cause. Money raised will be allocated by the Italian National Civil Protection Department to help reinforce Italy’s health services, with the creation of new ICU beds being a priority as the number of cases continues to climb. The Italian fashion house will also donate €1 million to the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which supports the World Health Organisation's lifesaving work across the world to track case numbers, understand the spread of the virus, improve patient care and more.
“Our thoughts are with the many impacted by the novel coronavirus outbreak, and therefore we have decided to donate the funds as an immediate contribution to assist,” François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s CEO, told WWD.
Another Italian luxury fashion house is also stepping up to the plate - Prada began the production of 80,000 medical overalls and 110,000 masks for healthcare workers on March 18 at the Prada factory in Montone, Perugia. Deliveries of these essential goods will be completed on April 6.
Meanwhile, The Armani Group announces it has switched all of its Italian production plants to manufacture single-use medical overalls to protect the healthcare workers who are on the front line of the global fight against the Coronavirus disease. Giorgio Armani has also contributed to hospitals in Bergamo, Piacenza and Versilia in the Tuscany region, for a total donation of €2 million.
Hugo Boss has also has dedicated production at its global headquarters in Metzingen to aid the public, manufacturing 180,000 face masks to be donated to public facilities. Crafted in a cotton-blend material that can be washed and reused at least 50 times, while these masks aren't for clinical purposes, they can be used by those working in nursing homes, fire departments, by police and others. As part of the Canada Goose Response Program, the down jacket manufacturer enlisted employees to product scrubs and gowns for frontline healthcare workers, while YOOX Net-A-Porter's turned its Premier Delivery fleet into volunteer vehicles for seven local Age UK charities in London which need to transport essential care packages, food and medical supplies to those in need.
Funds have also flooded in from other major companies, including US$720,000 from L'Oreal, US$430,000 from Swarovski and US$290,000 from Estee Lauder and Shiseido. Closer to home, China's own Alibaba has donated US$144 million, while Tencent contributed US$43.25 million to combat the outbreak.
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