Global luxury goods conglomerates Kering Group and LVMH announced over the weekend that they are joining the international fight against the coronavirus by converting their couture manufacturing plants to make face masks, hand sanitizer, and other essential medical equipment now in high demand.
Kering Group, the parent company of brands like Gucci and Saint Laurent, said in a statement on March 23 that over the next week it plans to “provide the French health service with 3 million surgical masks, which the Group will purchase and import from China.”
They are also in the process of converting the French Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent factories to manufacture masks “while complying with the strictest health protection measures for their staff members,” the press release added.
Meanwhile, in Italy, where there are 50,418 active coronavirus cases and 6,078 fatalities from the virus, Gucci has begun manufacturing masks and medical overalls in response to a call for help from medical authorities in the Tuscany region.
.@KeringGroup supports the fight of the Covid-19 virus in France, Italy and China, together with #Gucci, which aims to donate up to 1.1 million surgical masks and 55,000 medical overalls to Italian hospitals and healthcare workers in the coming weeks. More https://t.co/vIDce2VevC pic.twitter.com/Iwhzm0Gkwg
— gucci (@gucci) March 23, 2020
Amid a shortage of hydroalcoholic gel (hand sanitizer) in France, LVMH has been using the famous Guerlain, Dior, and Givenchy perfume and cosmetics factories to manufacture “as much gel as needed to support the public authorities,” according to the company’s Instagram.
“Since Monday, the gel has been delivered free of charge daily to the French health authorities and as a priority to the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris,” LVMH said. “We will continue to honor this commitment for as long as necessary, in connection with the French health authorities.”
France confirmed 13,815 active cases of the virus as of March 23, alongside 676 deaths and 2,207 recoveries.
Fashion and cosmetics retailers across the globe have pledged to provide assistance and support to governments in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
On March 23, Prada said, like Gucci, it would too begin producing masks and overalls and Prabul Gurung has committed to making personal protective equipment for New York’s medical service providers.
LVMH and Kering Group’s commitment to stay open and keep producing are, in addition to providing badly needed supplies, offering valuable employment opportunities for workers as the economic outlook grows increasingly dire under the pandemic’s strain.
The PG team has been working tirelessly over the course of the last week to finalize an actionable plan to manufacture PPE for medical workers and first responders who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.
— Prabal Gurung (@prabalgurung) March 23, 2020