Many of the world’s fashion designers and brands have had to halt everyday operations due to the coronavirus pandemic — but now, several firms are reallocating resources to fight the virus’ spread.
As COVID-19 cases have sharply increased, so too has the need for essential resources, such as masks, hospital gowns and hand sanitizer.
Fashion designers including Christian Siriano, Brandon Maxwell and Michael Costello are coming in to help fill that gap, mobilizing their teams to produce supplies needed by health-care workers and COVID-19 patients.
Larger companies, such as LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Kering, L’Oréal and Coty are also pitching in, having their factories produce hand sanitizer to distribute free of charge to health authorities.
Other initiatives are being set up nationwide calling on professionals such as set designers, photographers, nail technicians and hair stylists, among others, to donate their unused masks or gloves to hospitals in need.
Here, WWD compiles the ways that fashion designers and brands are pitching in to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alice + Olivia
Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet revealed in a March 21 tweet that the brand is producing masks to donate to hospitals in New York. The brand initially donated 5,000 masks to New York health-care workers on April 5 and will be donating one mask for each mask purchase through its web site going forward.
Allbirds has donated $500,000 in shoes to health-care workers across the country. The brand is also offering a buy-one-give-one option to customers who wish to be a part of the donation initiative.
The Havaianas parent company is donating 100,000 kits of essential products to vulnerable communities in Brazil impacted by the pandemic. The kits include Havaianas shoes, hygiene products and food.
The company has also converted its factories to produce masks, hand sanitizer and COVID-19 kits to health-care workers.
WHP Global, which owns Anne Klein, has teamed with the namesake designer’s granddaughter, Jesse Gre Rubinstein, to procure 100,000 face masks through its supply chain and distribute them to essential workers and community organizations across the country.
Barbour has converted its manufacturing facilities to begin producing personal protective equipment for the National Health Service facilities in the northeast of England.
The parent company behind Nivea, Eucerin, Aquaphor and Coppertone is converting its Tennessee facility to produce 500,000 units of medical-grade hand sanitizer to provide to health-care workers in the U.S. and Canada.
It is also donating 200,000 units of beauty products to those workers.
Belstaff is working with The Big Issue Foundation, a charity creating opportunities to end poverty and homelessness, to help vulnerable communities. For every jacket bought, Belstaff will donate a jacket to The Big Issue foundation.
The men’s wear brand has teamed with Gladson, the fabric producer, to support the Costume Designers Guild in the protection and delivery of 50,000 protective face masks for healthcare workers. The two U.K.-based firms have partnered to source medical-grade fabrics and produce the masks using CDC-approved processes.
In partnership with the charity Helpforce, Boden has donated 800,000 pounds worth of clothing and night wear to patients in hospitals and NHS healthcare workers who are unable to return home after shifts.
Boy Meets Girl
Boy Meets Girl is working with Survivor Corps, a grassroots organization connecting COVID-19 survivors with the scientific community to help find a vaccine and cure for the virus. The brand is also creating face masks for customers and will be donating a portion of proceeds to Glam4Good’s Critical Aid Fund, an organization that provides clothing and essential supplies to women and young girls in need.
Brandon Maxwell’s team is researching the appropriate medical textiles to make gowns for hospital doctors and nurses treating COVID-19 patients. He also aims to create medical grade masks and gloves as more information on manufacturing these supplies becomes available.
“It is important for us to come together now not only for each other, but most importantly for the communities that rely on us,” he wrote in a March 21 Instagram post.
Brooks Brothers is reopening its three U.S. factories in order to manufacture protective masks and gowns for health-care workers. It is expecting to produce about 150,000 masks a day and then will begin producing gowns.
The Seattle-based activewear brand is providing 10,000 pairs of shoes to health-care workers fighting COVID-19 across the country.
Bulgari is pooling its resources to help in a number of ways including a donation to the Spallanzani Hospital in Rome to purchase new 3D high definition microscopes, and converting its fragrance production centers to manufactor hand sanitizing gel. These were distributed to medical facilities and hospitals across Italy and Switzerland and this week, the brand donated 160,000 units of medical-grade gel to the UK’s National Heatlh Service.
Burberry is using its supply chain to obtain and donate over 100,000 surgical masks to the U.K. National Health Service. It is also producing hospital gowns at its Yorkshire factories.
The snowboard manufacturer is donating 500,000 KN95 respirator masks to health-care workers in the Northeast.
The beauty and fragrance brand has donated roughly 10,000 soap units to Citymeals on Wheels to be distributed to elderly people in need in New York City.
Chanel is donating over 50,000 masks to health-care workers and is seeking approval to begin producing protective masks and hospital gowns.
The French manufacturing company is producing hand sanitizer and protective masks at its factories. The company aims to produce five tons of hand sanitizer and one million units of masks each week.
Christian Siriano and his team of seamstresses are working to produce protective masks for New York City hospitals after the fashion designer reached out to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on March 20 asking how he could help.
The designer and his team are aiming to produce 1,000 masks in a few days. He also aims to create gowns for hospital workers, but is waiting to receive the legal requirements on what medical staffs are permitted to wear.
“I really think that if anybody still has team members who are sewing or who can sew, especially in New York, we could make a few hundred a day,” he said. “There are only so many people who work in a hospital. Fashion could really change everything in a week. Look, we have nothing else to do right now. Nobody is buying clothes so what can we do? I hope that everybody can pitch in.”
The athletic-wear brand has donated 18,000 reusable masks to health-care workers in the New York and New Jersey area.
The beauty company is producing hand sanitizer at some of its manufacturing sites to distribute free to medical and emergency services.
The shoe brand has launched a giveaway initiative where it is giving free pairs of shoes to health-care workers. These individuals can take part in the initiative through the brand’s web site, which will begin accepting requests at noon each day while supplies last.
Crocs is also donating 100,000 shoes to health-care facilities across the country.
De Beers Group has donated another 200,000 dollars to Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa, its four producer partner countries, to help women’s shelters and support organizations who assist gender-based violence resulting from COVID-19 situations, such as lockdown measures. In total, the group has donated over 5 million dollars which has helped fund a number of initiatives including the procurement of medical supplies, food security, education, and water supply.
The parent company of Ugg is launching a number of giveback initiatives. The company is donating $1 million to assist health-care workers in New York. It is also partnering with select hotels who are housing these health-care workers by providing them with Ugg products like robes and slippers.
The company has also established the Santa Barbara Better Together Fund, pledging support to small businesses in the area, and is partnering with the Sansum Clinic, which is one of the largest health-care providers in the area.
The Detroit-based sewing house has converted its manufacturing operations to produce over 200,000 medical masks for hospitals in need.
Designer Brands, the parent company of DSW and Camuto Group, is accepting shoe donations through May. It will also be donating 100,000 pairs of new shoes from its brands to frontline workers and their families.
The workwear apparel company is manufacturing hospital gowns with the goal of producing 3.4 million gowns by September.
Dior has reopened its Baby Dior factory in Redon, in the Brittany region of France to produce protective masks.
Italian-based fashion line Drome is producing masks for Italian hospitals in its factory outside of Tuscany.
Seattle-based outdoor brand Eddie Bauer is shifting its production capacity to manufacture N95 and surgical masks. It will be donating the masks to the Department of Enterprise Services, which will distribute the supplies to health-care facilities in need in Washington state.
Eileen Fisher has partnered with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and the Economic Development Corporation to produce medical gowns, masks and other essential supplies for health-care workers.
Elyse Kroll, the former trade show executive, has launched the Fashion With Love charity, a non-profit requesting fashion, accessories and beauty brands donate product for gift bags made for the doctors and nurses treating COVID-19 patients in New York.
Kroll has received donations from Rebecca Minkoff, Joe’s Jeans, Fossil, Century 21, Splendid, Michael Stars, Erika Harvey, Rhone, TruGrace, Moussy Vintage and Surfside Supply so far.
The beauty brand is donating 50,000 units of hand cream to New York City hospitals and health-care workers. Eos is also committed to donating an additional 50,000 units across the country.
Estée Lauder Cos.
The beauty company is reopening its Melville, N.Y. manufacturing facility to produce hand sanitizer to health-care workers.
Accessories designer Eugenia Kim is working with her factories in Taiwan to manufacture disposable masks, surgical masks and N95 masks.
The subscription service is launching a new initiative in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The brand is offering a box for health-care workers curated with essential and non-essential products that are meant for relaxation. Individuals can receive a complimentary box by verifying their eligibility on the brand’s web site.
It is also working with No Kid Hungry to donate $50,000 from its spring edit sale to the organization.
Fanatics, which manufactures the official Major League Baseball jerseys, is teaming with the MLB to produce face masks and hospital gowns at its Easton, Pa. factory to distribute to hospitals in the state. The company aims to produce one million masks and gowns featuring the Yankees’ famous pinstripes pattern.
Fashion for the Front Lines
Fashion for the Front Lines is a new task force working to source protective equipment for health-care workers. The group is helping produce this essential equipment, like protective masks and gowns, and distribute them to medical workers in need.
Fashion Institute of Technology
A group of students, alumni and faculty from SUNY’s Fashion Institute of Technology are coming together to produce hospital-grade masks for health-care workers. The group has already produced 2,000 masks.
Fast Retailing, the parent company of Uniqlo, Theory and J Brand, among others, has obtained 10 million protective masks from its manufacturing partners in China to distribute to high-priority medical facilities across the world.
Uniqlo is also donating 20,000 units of clothing to the Montefiore Health System and New York City hospitals in celebration of National Hospital Week.
The Fur Information Council of America
The council has raised funds to donate 5,000 protective masks to Woodhull Hospital and Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn. This is the first wave of the group’s COVID-19 relief efforts.
Garment District for Gowns
A group of fashion industry professionals have launched the GoFundMe page called Garment District for Gowns, to manufacture hospital gowns to donate to New York hospitals.
The Armani Group is converting all of its Italian production sites to produce medical overalls for health-care workers.
The New York-based upscale fabric manufacturer is offering medical-grade cotton fabric to sewers, tailors and designers to produce one million masks. Among the brands that have already committed to producing masks with the cotton are Dara Lamb in New York City and Mark Allen Clothiers in Providence, R.I.
The charitable organization has partnered with brands such as H&M, Ulta Beauty, Chapstick, Stella & Dot and Lush to deliver essential supplies, clothing and learning tools valued at $3.2 million to partner organizations across the country.
Apparel company Hanes is retrofitting some of its facilities to produce protective masks, according to a statement the brand released on March 22 on Instagram.
The children’s wear brand is donating its pajama sets to health-care workers and patients in need. Donations are currently underway to hospitals in New York City, Portland and Los Angeles.
The company’s factory in Rochester, N.Y., has started to create protective face masks for the medical staff at Rochester General Hospital after the medical center reached out to the company for help. The factory, which had been closed as a result of the virus, produced 1,400 masks on the first day on March 23, and has 3,000 pieces cut for production later this week.
House of Bijan
The Beverly Hills retailer is teaming with printing company AcuPrint to produce 10,000 face shields, complete with the “Bijan” logo.
The shields provide full face protection and offer a barrier from all airborne pathogens, infectious airborne droplets, accidental splashes and unconscious hand-to-face contact. The shields will be distributed to health-care workers in the Los Angeles area.
The British heritage brand is donating 1,500 pairs of its Wellington boots to the London Ambulance Service. The company is also donating 1,000 waterproof jackets to hospitals in the U.S.
iBrands has produced and distributed 10 million masks to health-care workers and aims to produce another 10 million in the next two weeks.
Inditex, the parent company of Zara, is transitioning its production sites to manufacture protective gowns. It has also secured masks for the Spanish government through its supply network with China.
The company has donated 457 million euros worth of hospital gowns and protective equipment to Spanish hospitals.
The beauty subscription service is donating care packages to 50,000 health-care workers across the country who are fighting the pandemic.
The company is also supporting the American Nurses Foundation by donating up to $50,000.
J.Jill is donating 10,000 $50 virtual gift cards as a thank you gift to frontline workers fighting the pandemic.
JanSport has launched a new initiative, #UnpackThatChallenge, where it’s donating 10,000 backpacks filled with food to the World Central Kitchen to aid underprivileged students.
Jockey is initially producing 250,000 hospital gowns to donate to health-care workers. The brand will then be able to produce 30,000 to 50,000 gowns per week.
Fashion label Johnny Was is creating 10,000 printed masks to donate to health-care workers.
The menswear brand has reopened its New Bedford, Mass. factory to produce washable cotton face masks. The brand has already produced roughly 50,000 masks to donate to health-care workers.
WHP Global, Joseph Abboud’s parent company, is also donating 2,000 meals to the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. for its health-care workers.
Supermodel Karolina Kurkova has teamed with children’s brand Billie Blooms cofounder Ashley Liemer for its Masks for All initiative, which offers colorful face masks for the whole family. For every mask purchased, a mask will be donated to Feeding America. The initiative has already donated 2,500 masks to the organization.
The luxury group stated on March 22 that its brands Balenciaga and Saint Laurent plan to manufacture masks for health-care workers. Kering has also purchased 3 million surgical masks that it will import from China to distribute to French health services.
Gucci has also worked with its supply chain to donate 1.1 million surgical masks and 55,000 medical gowns to health-care professionals in the Tuscany area in Italy.
Lia Kes Berman’s New York-based label, Kes, is donating 500 masks to the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. She is also working with her team to produce 10,000 more masks in the next few weeks.
L’Oréal has launched an initiative in Europe to fight COVID-19. Its brands La Roche-Posay and Garnier will produce hand sanitizer to donate to French and European hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies.
The Italian lingerie company is donating 10,000 masks to affected areas in Bologna.
Lacoste has produced 100,000 masks at its factory in Troyes, France. The masks will be donated to essential businesses and nursing homes. The brand is committed to increasing production to 200,000 masks.
LeSportsac has donated its belt bags and tote bags to nurses and doctors at the New York Presbyterian hospital. The company also has donated 100 masks and plans to donate an addition 2,500 masks it produces to the New York Police Department.
The company is also working to produce 2,000 of its Safety Bags to be donated to nurses and doctors on the East Coast.
Lilly Pulitzer is creating 27,500 mask covers from excess fabric to donate to over 60 organizations that aid health-care workers and first responders.
The Lions is teaming with Custom Collaborative to supply non-medical grade masks to essential workers in New York City.
The luxury brand is donating 100,000 masks to the Spanish Red Cross and is raising money for educational charities.
The CBD-based beauty brand has donated $300,000 worth of its products — including moisturizer, body lotion and body balm — to health-care workers across the country.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton
The luxury conglomerate announced on March 15 that it will be manufacturing hand sanitizer at all of its perfumery and cosmetics production facilities, which will be distributed to French health authorities.
The company later revealed it is also delivering 10 million masks in France after securing an order with a Chinese supplier.
The luxury brand has reopened 12 of its 16 leather goods productions sites to produce hundreds of thousands of masks for its staff and nearby retirement homes.
The swimwear brand and the non-profit, Course of Trade, are teaming to manufacture roughly 65,000 hospital gowns a week.
The fashion designer is creating protective masks to donate to Mount Sinai and Bellevue Hospitals in New York City, with its first delivering including roughly 300 masks.
A Mask Crusaders initiative has popped up in large cities across the nation, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Boston, among others, which helps distribute donations of masks and gloves to hospitals in need.
The initiative is calling on creative professionals, such as photographers, set designers, makeup artists, hair stylists and nail technicians, as well as others who have unused masks or gloves to donate their supplies through its online form, which matches those individuals with health-care professionals.
Los Angeles-based fashion designer Michael Costello and his team are producing 20,000 protective masks for health-care workers, first responders and hospitals in the city. He has designed a cotton-nylon blend protective mask with 70 to 74 percent air filtration effectiveness, according to the brand.
“For the first couple of days of this emergency I, like many others, felt frustrated and helpless just sitting at home,” Costello said in a statement. “I realized that even if I couldn’t do what I wanted as a designer I should do what I can to help others that keep our community safe.”
Mulberry has started producing hospital gowns in its Somerset factory in the U.K. and expects to manufacture 8,000 gowns in the coming weeks. The gowns will be distributed to the University Hospitals Bristol and the Weston NHS Foundation Trust.
The fashion designer has teamed with the Muslim American Leadership Alliance to donate 2,000 face masks to New York City health-care providers.
Clothing label Nanushka is procuring roughly 12,000 protective masks from a Chinese industrial supplier to distribute to health-care authorities in its native Hungary, which has over 400 COVID-19 cases.
In the U.K., Net-a-porter’s delivery fleet will be delivering food and essential supplies to older people living in the London area. The e-tailer has also donated laptops to Italian children and created digital education content packages for Italy’s Ministry of Education to aid in homeschooling.
New Balance plans to produce up to 100,000 masks weekly at its U.S. facilities by mid-April.
New World Development is donating 10 million medical face masks to be distributed through vending machines. There will be 35 vending machines created, which will be placed in all 18 districts across Hong Kong.
New York-based fashion designer Nicole Miller is using her company resources to produce protective masks and hospital gowns.
Nike has donated $5.5 million worth of products to frontline workers.
Old Navy is donating 50,000 non-medical reusable masks to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The brand is also donating clothing to those in need across the country.
Designer Prabal Gurung revealed on Instagram on March 23 that his team is working to finalize a plan to produce essential supplies for health-care workers.
“As a brand that produces over 90 percent of our collections in New York, our goal is not only to fill the void of critical PPE, but to mobilize our domestic partners, revitalizing U.S. producers and suppliers,” he wrote.
The brand announced on April 23 a donation of 2,000 face masks to New York hospitals in partnership with the COVID Foundation. The donation is part of the brand’s ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts.
The design house is manufacturing 80,000 medical overalls and 110,000 masks at its Montone, Italy, factory to distribute to health-care workers. This comes after the Italian government closed all nonessential manufacturing activities in the country until April 3.
Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble has donated $15 million in products, cash and essential supplies around the world. The beauty side of the business has been producing 45,000 liters of hand sanitizer weekly at its five production facilities. Its brand SK-II donated $300,000 for ventilators and protective suits in Wuhan.
Ralph & Russo
Ralph & Russo has put together care packages to be delivered to healthcare workers and the Infection Control Team at the Royal London Hospital. The care packages will contain the brand’s Spring 2020 silk pochette scarf and two sheet masks in partnership with 111Skin.
The brand has donated $10 million worth of clothing to frontline workers and families in need globally. Ralph Lauren is also continuing to distribute Ralph’s Coffee trucks to several New York City hospitals to offer free coffee and baked goods to health-care workers.
Rag & Bone
Rag & Bone is selling face masks made from upcycled materials from its ready-to-wear collections. For every mask purchased, $5 will be donated to City Harvest, which provides food to those in need in New York City.
Los Angeles-based clothing brand Rails, is donating 10,000 masks to hospitals in the area, as well as San Francisco, New York, New Orleans, Atlanta and Detroit, among others.
The brand is also converting production at its factory to manufacture 100 percent cotton masks for personal use and protection, which will be distributed to local communities.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garrett is teaming with clothing brand Reformation on the L.A. Protects initiative, which is organizing the city’s garment manufacturers to produce protective masks.
Reformation is recruiting other Los Angeles-based apparel producers to manufacture the masks. The initiative’s goal is to produce five million masks.
The Italian brand is producing over 100,000 protective masks and 50,000 units of hand sanitizer to donate to health-care workers in Tuscany.
The Montreal-based men’s brand has reopened its factory with 150 employees to begin production of personal protective equipment for doctors, nurses and first responders at hospitals and healthcare facilities in Quebec.
The company reached an agreement with the Department of Health in the Province of Quebec for an initial order of 200,000 surgical-grade gowns with the plan to provide hundreds of thousands more.
Los Angeles-based fashion label Sanctuary is working to produce over 5 million N95 masks to support the medical community. The company will make donations to hospitals in the Los Angeles area and nursing homes in New York City.
St. Louis Fashion Fund
The St. Louis Fashion Fund has teamed with designer Michael Drummond to produce 14,000 medically-approved masks for health-care workers.
Designer Tanya Taylor is producing 5,000 non-medical grade masks to donate to New York City hospitals.
The brand is also calling for donations to continue productions. It has since been able to produce 3,000 additional masks.
The parent company of Kate Spade, Coach and Stuart Weitzman is manufacturing medical equipment by repurposing its existing 3-D printing capabilities.
ThirdLove is donating 1,000 sets of bras and underwear to health-care workers at the University of California San Francisco and multiple East Coast hospitals.
The company is also donating 2,000 surgical masks to UCSF for its health-care workers.
The designer is donating 10,000 white T-shirts to health-care workers in the U.S. and Europe.
The Montreal-based textile company converted its 250,000-square-foot knitwear plant and brought back around 100 furloughed workers to produce medical-grade masks and gowns for health-care workers in Quebec.
Tumi has donated 400 Waist Bags to the ER and ICU staff at the New York Presbyterian Hospital.
The Upcycle Project, a Miami-based nonprofit that raises awareness of the fashion industry’s environmental impact, is converting 7,000 incorrectly printed t-shirts into masks. The project is recruiting local seamstresses who recently lost their jobs because of the virus to sew the masks.
The shoe brand is creating over 250,000 reusable face masks to donate to health-care workers across the country. Vans is also donating roughly 40,000 shoelaces to be used to produce medical face shields and 13,500 pairs of shoes to the volunteers working at food banks.
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