These past few weeks have been undoubtedly disheartening for us all. Bad news seems to be coming after the other. In the face of this unprecedented health crisis, global industries like travel and entertainment are taking a hit. More than that, the streets are now left eerily empty. With everyone encouraged to isolate themselves to stop the spread of the virus, no one's out and about, save for a few service workers and medical frontliners holding down the fort and keeping the community safe and functioning despite the pandemic. Though the present seems bleak, a glimmer of hope still remains with various groups joining hands in the fight against the virus. Aside from a few government sectors doing their responsibility to ensure the safety of their citizens in this trying time, a number of private companies and individuals have decided to give back and do what they can as well.
Last week, a number of local influencers have decided to help out with their own projects. And within the fashion and beauty industry too, we've heard of luxury brands like Moncler and Prada donating large sums to fund hospitals, as well as LVMH who has announced the production of free hand sanitisers to alleviate the shortage. Ahead, we list down a few other fashion and beauty brands' initiatives against COVID-19.
Following Coty and The Body Shop's move of donating cleansing products to those in need, Clarins has also decided to take action. They'll also be responding to the shortage of hand sanitiser, particularly that affecting the French health service. So far, three of their industrial sites in France have already produced and delivered 14,500 bottles of hand sanitiser to hospitals and will continue to provide more for as long as necessary. In doing this, Clarins hopes to extend their gratitude. In a press release, the beauty company's management wrote, "We would like to thank all those who are contributing to our socially-responsible initiative: our Production and Research & Development teams, our suppliers, our carriers and above all, the hospital staff."
With Italy being one of the countries gravely affected by the pandemic, brands that have originated from the country have also decided to do their part to help. For one, there's Bvlgari who's working together with their long-time fragrance manufacturer ICR (Industrie Cosmetiche Riunite, Lodi) to produce hand-cleansing gels. They're working to supply hundreds of thousands of bottles through the Protezione Civile (Italian Civil Protection Department) to all medical facilities in need. Bvlgari CEO Jean-Cristophe Babin believes that they "[have] a responsibility to contribute to the national effort to help prevent, fight and eradicate COVID-19."
Announcing that the Armani Group’s production plants have now switched to manufacturing single use overalls for healthcare workers involved in the fight against Coronavirus #EmporioArmani #GiorgioArmani pic.twitter.com/twTyj5uTWX— Armani (@armani) March 27, 2020
But sanitisers aren't the only essentials integral to stop the spread of the virus. Medical professionals from all over the world are also experiencing shortages in protective gear, which are absolutely necessary to avoid contracting the virus while treating affected patients. To help out with that, aside from donating a total of EUR2 million to hospitals in Italy, Armani has also made the decision to use all their production plants in the country to manufacture single-use medical overalls. The leading luxury group's efforts will prove greatly beneficial to health personnel engaged in a war against the coronavirus.
Manila Protective Gear Sewing Club
Within our region too, various groups are doing what they can to help out health workers as they risk their lives tending to patients of the virus. In particular, Filipino fashion designer Mich Dulce kickstarted a volunteer group called the Manila Protective Gear Sewing Club. As of writing, a total of 1,936 local fashion designers, tailors, textile workers — basically anyone willing and capable to help within the industry — including the likes of designers Rajo Laurel, Patrice Diaz and more have joined hands to help address the lack of Personal Protective Gears (PPEs) in Philippine hospitals. Together, they designed a prototype for PPEs that can be reused and disinfected multiple times, which was finally approved for mass production last Sunday by an Infectious Diseases Specialist.
Manila-based clothing brand Randolf Clothing, meanwhile, is doing what they can to give back to the service workers on the frontlines. Using scraps of fabric from their collections, they decided to sew together reusable face masks that can protect everyone from the virus. Last week, they distributed some to service workers like trash collectors that are keeping the local community running while everyone's mandated to stay and isolate at home. They plan to be making more to help more people from their town. They've also shared patterns and instructions for others who want to make face masks for personal use or donation.
Last but not the least, in Malaysia, local fashion designers are also doing what they can to provide hospitals in urgent need of more PPE gowns. The project was initiated by Malaysian Official Designers Association (MODA) to address the local health workers' needs. MODA administers the whole process, supplying the fabrics needed to designers and volunteers who are working together to sew the gowns as fast as possible. To raise funds, they're working together with retail company FashionValet, while the distribution of the finished PPEs will be handled by the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (IMARET). Those interested to help in this health crisis are invited to donate what they can here.