Wednesday 1st April

| BY Helena Fletcher

Fashion Brands Continue to Pledge Help in the Fight Against Covid-19

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 the fashion industry has been upended, but brands are doing their part to contribute aid globally, with more stepping up daily. Last week Burberry committed its resources to both prevent further infection and provide support to those whose lives have been impacted by the crisis. Burberry’s trench coat factory in Castleford, Yorkshire has been retooled to manufacture masks and non-surgical gowns for patients, and the brand will also be utilising its global supply chain network to fast track the delivery of over 100,000 surgical masks for the NHS’s medical staff’s use.

As well as helping to the stop of the spread of the virus Burberry is also contributing to finding longer-term solutions by funding research into a single-dose vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford, which will begin human trials soon. To help those struggling, Burberry has made donations to charities tackling food poverty in the UK including The Felix Project and FareShare. “COVID-19 has fundamentally changed our everyday lives, but we hope that the support we provide will go some way towards saving more lives, bringing the virus under control and helping our world recover from this devastating pandemic. Together, we will get through this,” said Burberry’s CEO Marco Gobetti.

Jimmy Choo is pledging to donate $5,000,000 to support efforts in the UK and on a global scale. To support hospital staff, volunteers and carers of Covid-19 patients, the NHS Charities Together National Health Service COVID-19 Urgent Appeal will receive half of the total. With the other £250,000 will go to The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, to help counties prepare for and respond to the pandemic. Other members of the Capri Holdings group, Michael Kors and Versace, have also announced their philanthropic donations to causes in the US and Italy respectively.

Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter’s distribution centres in London have temporarily closed, so they have repurposed their premier delivery vans to support seven local Age UK charities. With the use of the volunteered vehicles, the most vulnerable, socially isolated people in London will receive care packages of essential medical supplies and food at this time. “Now, more than ever, the primary focus of our colleagues and customers is the well-being of relatives, friends and communities. Reflecting our core sustainability priorities, the group hopes that the redistribution of these resources will help to make a difference in London,” YNAP told WWD. To aid homeschooling in Italy, the company has also created digital education content packages for the Ministry of Education and donated laptops to Italian school children.

Also in Italy, the Armani group have begun producing medical overalls for healthcare workers at all of their Italian production plants in addition to donating €2 million to hospitals in Tuscany and National Civil Protection Department. Following a request from the Tuscany Region, two weeks ago Prada’s factory in Montone, Perugia, started production on 110,000 masks 80,000 medical overalls for healthcare personnel. Gucci will be making a €2 million donation in support of two crowdfunding campaigns as well as launching the “We Are All In This Together” initiative on social media in support of Protezione Civile Nazionale and the World Health Organisation, calling for their community to donate too.


Since retooling its perfume and cosmetics factories to distribute and manufacture hand sanitizer, LVMH has said they will also purchase 40 million masks to combat the shortage in French hospitals. Chanel has confirmed they will also produce face masks once approved by the French government, as well as donating €1.2 million to aid France’s hospital system. Kering has committed to ordering 3 million surgical masks for French health services, with Saint Laurent and Balenciaga also manufacturing masks. The luxury conglomerate has also re-opened the Baby Dior factory in Redon, Brittany to produce and supply masks for health-care professionals. Balmain and Valentino‘s parent company Mayhoola will be supporting the effects of the pandemic in Madrid with a €1 million donation. The funds will go towards the expansion and development of the emergency field hospital built inside the Madrid Exhibition Center, Hospital Covid-19 IFEMA.

In the US, Carhartt has pledged to produce 50,000 medical gowns and 2.5 million masks at its factories in Tennessee and Kentucky, to help those working on the front line. In addition to committing to manufacture 250,000 facemask and 25,000 gowns, Ralph Lauren has donated $10 million USD to relief efforts including the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund. An undisclosed amount has also been given to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion fund initiative A Common Thread, which aims to support those in the USA’s fashion community that have been impacted.

Whilst PVH Corp, whose brand portfolio encompasses the likes of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein has announced that the PVH Foundation will contribute $1 million USD to Coronavirus relief causes both locally and on a global scale. $50,000 has been contributed to A Common Thread, and $100,000 of this will be donated to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund and others associated. In addition, PVH has also made a $275,000 donation to the Chinese Society of the Red Cross. “There is no roadmap for this crisis, but I know that at PVH we have strong values and connections to our communities,” stated Manny Chirico, Chairman and CEO, PVH.

To support frontline healthcare workers PVH has begun shipping over 2 million units of personal protective equipment, including masks, face shields and gowns to the Montefiore Health System in New York. Both Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger are also supporting health care workers by donating product (in the US and the Netherlands) where needed. In addition, Calvin Klein is a founding partner of OutRight Action International’s Covid-19 Global LGBTIQ Emergency Fund. With its Associate Relief Fund, US-based corporate, retail and warehouse works associates by financial hardship caused by the crisis can also receive grants. And all donations made by PVH’s associates in America and Canada will be matched by the PVH Foundation.

On both sides of the Atlantic, the fashion industry is pulling together to fight the pandemic, with more updates to be expected over the coming weeks. Stay home, stay safe and keep informed via the NHS website.

Top image: via @burberry