From manufacturing safety masks to engineering medical ventilators, luxury brands are using their resources to help curb the pandemic.
With a cure for COVID-19 still under development and no clear end to the pandemic in sight, the world is struggling to cope with the effects of COVID-19. The outbreak has taken a toll on businesses across all sectors—hit by citywide quarantines, temporary closures, and social distancing measures.
Even the luxury industry hasn’t been spared from the fallout, being one of the worst affected markets in the world. Already, some of the larger events and trade shows have either been canceled or postponed to help prevent the transmission of the disease. Still, that hasn’t stopped the larger brands from contributing to the ongoing fight to contain the coronavirus.
Most of their efforts have been focused on providing supplies to medical facilities, which are experiencing a shortage of protective gear and medical equipment. And with their status and influence, they lend the fight some much needed reach.
Global supply chains have been realigned to source supplies, and some brands have even resorted to making their own equipment, repurposing their manufacturing facilities in the process. It’s not just about giving back this time. It’s about helping overcome one of the worst crises in recent history.
And if you’re wondering whether that bag, this car, or those shoes were worth the price, you can look at what else their creators have done with the money you’ve sent their way.
Armani is dressing up the frontliners of Italy. But instead of wool and silk suits, they’re sending something far more valuable: medical scrubs. The fashion house from Milan recently announced that all their Italian factories will be put to work creating scrub suits for medical workers, to help curb the shortage of protective equipment in local hospitals. Armani has also donated more than 2 million euros to hospitals in Italy, to help manage the crisis.
One of the world’s largest luxury groups, LVMH (Moët-Hennessy Louis Vuitton) is repurposing its perfume and cosmetics brands to manufacture hand sanitizer. Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain, and Parfums Givenchy will all be producing hydroalcoholic gel en masse. These will then be delivered to the health authorities in France to help people protect themselves from transmission.
Medical face masks are one of the items that have been scarce around the world, and Prada is helping with the shortage. The Italian fashion house has pledged more than 100,000 masks to the cause, aiming to deliver them all in the first few days of April.
Another major luxury group, Kering is likewise doing its part to help with the global crisis. They’ve promised 3 million face masks to the French government, while also putting its brands—Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent—to work producing more masks, pending the approval of health authorities. Kering has also donated finances to the Hubei Red Cross Foundation and the Institut Pasteur to fund relief and research efforts regarding COVID-19.
Elon Musk’s groundbreaking motor company is set to manufacture medical ventilators, responding to the shortage of equipment in New York hospitals. Taking to Twitter, Musk said that their New York factory will reopen to produce the machines “as soon as humanly possible.” And given the times we all face, it’s good to see the luxury world rising to do their part.