The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the lifestyle of many people. It has changed the way of people spending from clothing, travel, leisure, fuel, and outdoor activities to medicine, personal protective equipment including masks and gloves, food, and bare necessities. People are adapting to simpler lifestyles due to industrial layoffs, overall unemployment, and poverty. The pandemic has negatively impacted the restaurant and fashion industry specifically. People around the globe are working from their homes and staying indoors due to social distancing measures instructed by WHO, which led them to wear old, comfortable apparel rather than buying new clothes. The shutdown of public places has also led to a drop in physical sales, and the cost of outlet rents and sales staff salary is also contributing to losses.
A report released by McKinsey states the global fashion industry is expected to contract by 30% while luxury retailers can face a 40% drop in sales. The report also indicates 80% of public companies in Europe and North America will be facing financial issues.
Fashion Industry contribution
The total cases worldwide have amassed to 8 Million, and epicenters include Italy, Spain, UK, India, Russia, and the USA. As major luxury fashion retailers have their head offices in Milan, Italy; Paris, France, and London, UK, they are directly affected by rising cases. Fashion houses comprising Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Bulgari, Dolce and Gabbana, Giorgio Armani and Versace are doing their bit in helping the medical workers and victims to survive the pandemic.
The American fashion house has pledged to donate $10 million to the global response to the pandemic. The brand has halted its production of regular apparel and has devoted the manufacturing plants to produce 250,000 masks and 25,000 overall gowns. The brand has also initiated creative competitions to generate sales and donate the proceeds to the WHO Relief Fund. The Polo Project, Design for Good, asked people to create an original design for polo shirts, and the top 10 finalists will also receive gift vouchers apart from the sales donations.
Owned by its parent company Kering, with its subsidiaries Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Gucci is utilizing its manufacturing units to produce 1,100,000 masks and 55,000 medical gowns. The company also plans to donate to relief funds such as the Italian Civil Protection, WHO Solidarity Response fund.
Gucci’s parent company, Kering, has also ordered manufacturing units of Balenciaga and Saint Laurent to produce face masks. Kering donated $1million to CDC Foundation, working to provide medical equipment to medical workers in the USA.
The multi-brand parent company, with its subsidiaries Dior, Givenchy, Fendi, has devoted its perfume and cosmetics manufacturing units to produce hand sanitizers for donation to French hospitals. It ordered 40 million masks, imported from China, to be distributed all across France hospitals and medical centers. The fashion house will donate the non-surgical masks among the poor and old age citizens by hired 300 workers to produce them.
The Italian brand CEOs have donated two ICUs and emergency units to hospitals in Milan, naming Vittore Buzzi, Sacco, and San Raffaele. They have also devoted their manufacturing units to the production of 80,000 gowns, and 110,000 masks for health workers in Tuscany, Italy.
The American brand has collaborated with 1199SEIU United Health Workers, a union based in New York, to donate its $5 million worth products to medical workers. The company also gave 3000 yards of fabric, which will be used to make masks and gowns for hospitals in Long Island, New York.
The American fashion house donated $1 million along with Michael Kor, the CEO and designer donation of $1 million. They will distribute $2 million amount among multiple organizations and hospitals. The brand is supporting NYU Langone Health, New York-Presbyterian hospital, A Common thread, God’s Love We Deliver, and Vogue Fashion Relief fund.
The Chief Creative Officer of Versace – Donatella Versace and her daughter Allegra Versace Beck have pledged to donate 200,000 euros personally to the intensive care unit of San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, matched with $400,000 donation from the brand. The company will also donate $100,000 to Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana, a fashion NGO for their efforts in bringing ventilators to Italian hospitals.
The fashion industry has collected a large sum of donations to relief funds, hospitals, and devoted their manufacturing units to produce personal protective equipment for health workers across Europe and the USA. Despite the financial crises, the fashion industry took measures to help fight the pandemic.