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The Fashion Industry is Now Producing Masks and Other Necessities in Bulk to Combat COVID-19

Avidan Grossman
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Esquire

The rapid spread of COVID-19 presents an unprecedented challenge to people across the globe. Along with its tragic human toll, the virus has provoked mass panic, sending the markets tumbling to historic lows and causing dramatic shortages in products even tangentially related to the outbreak. But the virus has also prompted displays of heroism on an equally unprecedented scale, a small but crucial reminder that in times of true crisis there is no more indefatigable force than the human spirit.

Over the last couple of months, corporations with the means to help have been rising to the occasion, pledging millions of dollars to assist the effort in any way they can. As the spread of COVID-19 reaches pandemic-level proportions, key players in the fashion industry are getting involved to do their part, from funding efforts to fight the virus to converting manufacturing facilities to better suit the needs of hospitals and healthcare workers around the world.

Below is a comprehensive list of who's doing what, and where, that we'll keep updated to reflect any new announcements regarding which brands are involved at home and abroad. These are trying times for us all, so there's some small comfort in knowing that so many of the brands we as customers invest so much in are now doing the same for us, and anyone afflicted by the virus, from Paris to Portland and everywhere in between.

Stay safe, folks.

To help those in need due to the coronavirus outbreak, check out our guide on where to donate here.

Armani

The iconic luxury label has pledged 1.25 million euros to a group of Italian hospitals and institutions, including the Luigi Sacco and San Raffaele hospitals and the Istituto dei Tumori in Milan, along with the Istituto Lazzaro Spallanzani in Rome.

Bulgari

Earlier last month, Bulgari also made a donation of an unspecified sum to the research department of the Istituto Lazzaro Spallanzani in Rome, allowing the hospital to purchase a microscopic image acquisition system valued at around 100,000 euros.

Coty

The beauty manufacturer announced earlier this week it intends to repurpose its manufacturing sites to provide hydroalcoholic gel to efforts fighting the spread of the virus.

Christian Siriano

After New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted asking for PPE (personal protective equipment) supplies including face masks, the NY-based designer and his team got in touch with his office and now plan to produce modified surgical masks from fabric they already had on hand for healthcare workers not directly interacting with the virus.

Dolce & Gabbana

The Italian label announced a comprehensive plan to partner with Humanitas University to fund studies and further research dedicated to finding out more about the cause of the virus.

Hermès

The French luxury-goods maker has pledged 5 million yuan (or $711,278) to the China Soong China Ling Foundation.

Inditex

The parent company behind fast-fashion brand Zara announced it will be using its factories to make face masks for the Spanish government, with the company saying it expects to ship out 300,000 masks by the end of this week.

John Elliott

John Elliott might be a smaller brand than any of the other big names on this list, but through its Mainline for the Frontline initiative, the label is doing its best to make an impact. The brand made a $10,000 donation to the UCLA Health Fund and has pledged to donate an additional 10% of proceeds from its sale section (which is full of fan favorites) to the same worthy cause, with a target goal of $100,000.

Kering

The French luxury conglomerate donated 7.5 million yuan (or $1 million) to the Red Cross Society of China, and Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri personally donated more than $100,000 to hospitals in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. The group also announced it will be donating millions of masks to the French health service and will be converting some of its factories to produce other PPE supplies.

Photo credit: CANDIDA NG - Getty Images

L'Oreal

Along with a donation of 1 million euros to several partner organizations, L'Oreal has also used its facilities to start manufacturing hand sanitizer and hydro-alcoholic gel.

LVMH

After donating 16 million renminbi (or $2.2 million) to The Red Cross Society of China, the Paris-based multinational corporation announced that it's converting the facilities formerly used to produce fragrances for its extensive roster of brands to make hydro-alcoholic gel, to be supplied free of charge to the French government and healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic. On Saturday, LVMH also announced it will donate 40 million masks to France.

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Miroglio Group

The Italian textile firm has converted its production lines to make regulation-approved face masks on an impressive scale (the company has said it will likely be able to produce up to 100,000 masks a day).

Moncler

Moncler has pledged 10 million euros (or $10.9 million) towards the construction of a new hospital in Milan with 400 intensive care units.

Nike

The Swoosh's top executives, in tandem with the company itself, announced they're committing more than $15 million to COVID-19 response efforts, including donations to regional organizations in Oregon and global foundations fighting the virus around the world.

Prada

Prada's co-CEOs (husband-and-wife duo Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada) and Chairman Carlo Mazzi have donated two complete intensive care and resuscitation units each to the Vittore Buzzi, Sacco, and San Raffaele hospitals in Milan.

Photo credit: Marco Di Lauro - Getty Images

Richemont

The luxury superpower has pledged 10 million renminbi (or $1.4 million) to stopping the spread of the virus through efforts around the world.

StockX

One of the biggest secondhand marketplaces in the game, StockX is focusing not on the virus itself but those affected by it. For many, social distancing can lead to missed meals, so StockX's #FlexFromHome initiative is donating $20,000 to Feeding America, with an additional $1 (10 meals) for each tagged post from users.

Versace

The Italian fashion house donated 1 million renminbi (or $143,748) to The Chinese Red Cross Foundation, and this past Saturday, Donatella Versace and her daughter also announced a personal donation of 200,000 euros to the ICU of Milan's San Raffaele hospital.

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