FROM SUITS TO SMOCKS: The Ermenegildo Zegna Group said Tuesday that it has started manufacturing protective medical overalls with the aim of producing 280,000 units.

Of these, 250,000 pieces will be channeled into the Piedmont region in Italy, responding to an urgent need in fighting the coronavirus, and the remaining 30,000 units will be sent to the Canton Ticino area in Switzerland. Portions of the Italian men’s wear group’s INCO plant in Novara and Consitex in Mendrisio have been converted to accommodate the new production.

“Let’s look out for each other. Let’s get through this together,” said chief executive officer Gildo Zegna.

The collective effort was made possible by the collaboration between the Zegna Group, Fondazione Zegna, the Piedmont region and Canton Ticino. The protective suits are constructed with a non-woven fabric, produced by Pratrivero SpA in Biella, Italy.

“The Zegna Group is incredibly pleased that the Biella textile district and Unione Industriale Biellese responded immediately to our appeal to work together during this difficult period,” stated Zegna.

“We are proactively collaborating with the Piedmont Crisis Unit and Canton Ticino relevant authority to speed up the production process in an effort to meet the pressing need for vital medical supplies. The crisis we are all facing is a stark reminder that we must join together in every effort to combat the outbreak.”

As reported, the Zegna family and the Ermenegildo Zegna company’s top management have pledged personal donations totaling 3 million euros to fight the spread of COVID-19 in Italy. Made to the country’s Civil Protection, the donation supports medical personnel and volunteers involved in tackling the pandemic.

The Zegna Group has also converted part of its production facilities both in Italy and Switzerland to manufacture sanitary masks to distribute to its employees and those in need in both countries.

The company supported the purchase of ventilators and additional medical masks for a range of hospitals through a direct financial contribution.

The fashion industry has been quick in its response to the pandemic through financial donations and the conversion of production by the likes of the Giorgio Armani Group, Gucci, Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo, to name a few.