LVMH has announced that it will provide around 40 million surgical masks to France, which – like many places – is facing a shortage amid the coronavirus pandemic. 10 million masks are already due to arrive from a Chinese industrial supplier in the coming days, according to a statement shared byThe Fashion Law.
Additional orders of a similar scale will be repeated for “at least four weeks”.
This follows LVMH utilising its cosmetics factories to produce antibacterial hand gel, which it is distributing for free to combat the spread of the virus. Since Monday the gel has been distributed daily to health authorities, according to an update posted to Instagram, which also thanks those involved and states: “we will continue to honour this commitment for as long as necessary.”
Also announcing its plans to provide support is Kering Group. Parent company to the likes of Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga, the company will provide the French health service with three million surgical face masks, purchased from China. Saint Laurent and Balenciaga will also start to manufacture face masks for France, while Gucci is set to produce and donate over one million masks and 55,000 medical overalls to Italy.
Earlier this week, fashion students led the effort to help produce face masks for those in need, and the British Fashion Council also urged designers to pitch in. Meanwhile, Pyer Mosshas converted its NYC office into a donation centre for medical supplies.
Many other labels and individual designers, including Donatella Versace, have made monetary contributions to hospitals, particularly in Milan, the European epicentre of the virus.