The world continues to come together to support the healthcare system. With a total of 787,000 cases globally (and counting) the impact of the pandemic is being felt worldwide. Managing the demand COVID-19 has placed on hospitals has overwhelmed resources causing shortages in needed medical supplies. In an effort to contribute, luxury retailers and fashion houses like CHANEL and LVMH have pivoted production to help produce medical masks and hand sanitizer. Other luxury manufactures like Tesla and Dyson have contributed needed materials like hospital gowns and ventilators for both patients and doctors whose supply has been dwindling for weeks.
Despite economic instability, leading brands around the world have taken it upon themselves to use their resources and influence to help out by donating money, repurposing manufacturing facilities to make equipment, and challenging themselves to think of unique solutions to pressing problems. Here are some that have truly stepped up to the plate to help out.
As cases of Coronavirus continue to be reported across France, fashion house CHANEL announced on March 29 that it will be re-configuring production to create medical masks. “Today we are mobilizing our workforce and our partners … to produce protective masks and blouses,” the brand said in a statement. Not only does this help provide the 40,000 masks the minister of health, Olivier Veran, reported France to be going through daily, but it allows all 8,500 of CHANEL’s staff in France to stay employed.
The brand, best known for its iconic tweed jackets, has also generously donated €1.2M to an emergency fund that will be used to support front line hospital workers.
In a press release issued on March 25, Canada Goose announced that they would be converting their Toronto and Winnipeg facilities to manufacture hospital scrubs and gowns in addition to revealing their COVID-19 relief action plan.
“Across Canada, there are people risking their lives every day on the frontlines of COVID-19 in healthcare facilities, and they need help. Now is the time to put our manufacturing resources and capabilities to work for the greater good,” said Dani Reiss, President & CEO, Canada Goose. “Our employees are ready, willing and able to help, and that’s what we’re doing. It’s the Canadian thing to do.”
One of the biggest forces in fashion, LVMH (the parent group to brands like Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Celine, Fendi, Dior and more) issued a statement detailing their COVID-19 relief plans. The luxury giant secured an order of 10 million masks in France from a Chinese industrial supplier (seven million dedicated towards surgical masks and three million towards FFP2 masks), repeated for at least four weeks for a total of approximately 40 million masks. In addition, LVMH has also dedicated its perfume and cosmetic manufacturing facilities to produce hand sanitizer to assist health authorities.
Air technology company Dyson has created a ventilator machine in a short 10 days to help patients fighting the coronavirus disease. “[The CoVent] is designed to address the specific clinical needs of COVID-19 patients, and it is suited to a variety of clinical settings. The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time. The race is now on to get it into production,” James Dyson said in a statement.
The United Kingdom reached out to luxury vehicle company Rolls Royce to help them produce ventilators on a large scale to help meet the growing demands of COVID-19 on hospital equipment. Rolls Royce responded saying the company was eager to help in any way possible.
Italian car manufactures Ferrari and Fiat will be dedicating resources and factories to producing much needed ventilators to hospitals in Italy. The country has had an overwhelming number of cases that have packed their hospitals to capacity.
CEO, Elon Musk, has donated a total of 1,255 ventilators to help the fight against COVID-19. This is a needed donation as the disease concentrates within the respiratory system. In addition to this, Musk donated 50,000 masks to hospitals in Seattle, W.A
In support of nurses and healthcare professionals helping on the frontlines, Ermenegildo Zegna has pledged a massive donation of 3 million euros. The company has also designated a portion of its warehouses in Switzerland to create medical masks to help combat the on-going shortage.
America’s oldest retailer, Brooks Brothers, responded to the White House call out for medical supplies, donating its facilities to creating 150,000 surgical masks daily on an ongoing basis for the foreseeable future.