By Anna Griffin, Editor in Chief
When our global collective had to quickly adapt to the urgent fight against Covid-19, many industries shape shifted to produce critical items needed by our frontline workers. As motor companies switched their manufacturing focus from cars to ventilators, the fashion industry responded to meet the need for protective masks, gowns, and even hand sanitizers. Major design houses, sustainable labels, casual wear, athleisure and lingerie brands joined the cause, and as the fashion industry stepped up to support heroes on the frontline, we learned that nothing is more stylish than evolving to meet a higher calling.
Partnering early in the pandemic with the City of LA and Mayor Eric Garcetti, Reformation committed to producing masks for essential workers in desperate need. Generated by Mayor Eric Garcetti, #LAProtects, formed to organize local manufacturers to make five million non-medical masks for those performing essential work, ensuring medical grade masks were available to healthcare workers. To date, Reformation has sold over 456k masks and donated to UCLA Health and the Mission Homeless Shelters, for at-risk staff and those they serve. Through July, they will donate a mask for each mask purchased or donated on their site, to BIPOC, the homeless community, and at-risk individuals in the LBGTQ+ community.
Burberry committed to leveraging its global supply chain to fast-track the delivery of over 100,000 surgical masks to the UK National Health Service for medical staff, and retooled their Yorkshire-based, trench coat factory to make non-surgical gowns and masks for patients. In addition, they are funding research into a single-dose vaccine developed by the University of Oxford, which began human trials recently, and donated to charities including FareShare and The Felix Project. Both organizations are dedicated to tackling food poverty across the UK, in an effort to support a longer-term solution to the global pandemic.
Burberry's CEO, Marco Gobbetti, said, "In challenging times, we must pull together.” "The whole team at Burberry is very proud to be able to support those who are working tirelessly to combat Covid-19, whether by treating patients, working to find a vaccine solution or helping provide food supplies to those in need at this time. 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."
Bvlgari announced their contribution to manufacture thousands of hand sanitizers in 75ml recyclable bottles, to be distributed to medical facilities throughout Italy. Beyond their first run, the company has plans to continue production in the coming months.
“I believe as a major economic actor and symbol of Italy, Bvlgari has a responsibility to contribute to the national effort to help prevent, fight and eradicate Covid-19. Thanks to our fragrances expertise we have been able to develop together with ICR a ‘hand cleansing gel with sanitizer’ which will be manufactured in our Lodi Factory already making our high-end perfumes and hotel amenities," Jean-Christophe Babin, Bvlgari CEO, said in a statement. "Aware of the difficult situation we are experiencing, we believe it is our duty to contribute with our know-how and production facilities."
Using its manufacturing facilities to produce personal protective equipment (PPE), H&M Group donated to frontline workers in the healthcare industry.Additionally, over $2 million of product is going to organizations including Children’s Defense Fund, Los Angeles LGBT Center, GLAM4GOOD, and the Nashville Rescue Mission. The donation includes children and adults’ clothing and bedding, amongst other necessary items.
H&M USA is also partnering with GIVZ by donating $10 from every $60 spent on their website, allowing customers to contribute to different organizations such as CDC Foundation, Meals on Wheels, Direct Relief, and GLAM4GOOD, up to a total donation of $150,000. This is in addition to H&M Foundation’s $500,000 donation to the WHO’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
"The Coronavirus is dramatically affecting each and every one of us, and H&M Group is, like many other organizations, trying our best to help in this extraordinary situation," Anna Gedda, head of sustainability at H&M Group, said in a press release. "We see this is as a first step in our efforts to support in any way we can. We are all in this together, and have to approach this as collectively as possible."
Levi Strauss & Co
Levi Strauss & Co committed 3 million dollars to assist in Covid-19 efforts, with funds focusing on employees, community partners and supply chain workers. Within their initiative, the Levi Strauss Foundation is working with partner organizations around the world, to provide a series of grants focused on public health support and food security for factory workers, especially women who are most vulnerable to economic shocks. Additionally the company donated 10,000 medical-grade masks to hospitals around the globe, and had employees ready to cut and sew homemade, non-medical grade masks for lower-risk settings. Further doing their part, Levi’s hosted a virtual concert series on Instagram Live with artists like Snoop Dog, Sigrid, Kali Uchis, and Burna Boy, and donating $10,000 per performance to a charity picked by the artist.
PC: Levi Strauss
With a comprehensive and impressive sustainability initiative already in place, popular lingerie and sleepwear brand, Hanky Panky, committed to helping #stopthespread of Covid-19 by producing limited-edition, reusable lace and cotton face masks for purchase on their website. Each mask was cut and sewn by Hanky Panky Co-Founders, Gale and Lida, and star sample-maker Antika, in their Park Avenue South atelier in New York City. For each $22 mask purchased, the brand donated $5 to the Pearl River Mart Masks for Docs and Nurses GoFundMe campaign, to acquire KN95 masks for hard hit hospital workers in NYC.
PC: Hanky Panky
Temporarily halting production of its leggings and other athleisure products, Los Angeles-based Goldsheep Clothing switched gears to focus on producing masks and “give back sweatshirts,” in an effort to shed light and positivity during the Covid-19 outbreak. To help preserve N95 masks for healthcare workers on the frontlines and the patients they are treating, Goldsheep devised a plan to cut, sew and distribute masks for use by non-clinical healthcare workers at local hospitals, shelters and other life-saving facilities, while also providing them for purchase on their website. Additionally, for every “give back sweatshirt” purchased, 5 Goldsheep manufactured masks were donated to non-clinical healthcare workers, reminding everyone again that WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.
PC: Goldsheep Clothing