It's been almost over a month since most countries worldwide have started to enforce stricter lockdowns in order to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. As the numbers of deaths and infections rise, health care systems everywhere face a gruelling picture where hospitals are overwhelmed, and doctors and nurses run out of protective gear.
In the midst of the darkness, thousands of individuals and companies have stepped up in their own ways to help combat the fight against COVID-19. This includes big fashion brands from around the world.
Here are some of our favourite designers who are helping out and how you can get involved.
Canadian cruelty-free designer Hilary MacMillan is producing non-medical grade masks out of upcycled fabrics for frontline workers. Since announced, they have received a ton of requests from cab companies, animal shelters and Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto. If you are able to help, the Michael Garron Hospital has started the 1000 Mask Challenge. If you can sew, they need 1000 masks every week. Click here for more information about pattern, fabric, and where to drop off.
Based in one of the world's most affected countries, Italian label Gucci announced that it would be providing 1,100,000 surgical masks and 55,000 medical overalls. In addition, they have donated over €2 million to crowdfunding campaigns which includes the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. If you are able to help, through the #GucciCommunity, they are asking people to make a donation to the WHO's initiative. Donations will go towards funding the activities of the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, which include among others, ensuring patients get the care they need and buying and shipping essential supplies such as masks, gloves and protective wear for frontline workers.
Canadian intimates brand Knix launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the purchase and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. To date, they have raised over $250,000 which will directly go towards purchasing key items such as N95 masks, surgical gloves and gowns. With 225 healthcare institutions requesting for supplies, Knix is continuing to ask donations from the public to help fulfill the need.
The English fashion house Burberry has recently committed not only to manufacture surgical and non-surgical masks and gowns but they are also funding research into a single-dose vaccine developed by the University of Oxford. The university has one of the world’s best track records in emergency vaccine development, and its COVID-19 vaccine is on course to begin human trials next month. In addition, they have also dedicated to donating to charities that are dedicated to tackling food poverty across the UK, including FareShare and The Felix Project.
The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation has committed $10 million toward COVID-19 relief which will go towards the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, and offer financial grants to their employees facing special circumstances, like medical, eldercare, or childcare needs, among others. In addition, the Ralph Lauren Corporation is starting the production of 250,000 masks and 25,000 isolation gowns with their U.S. manufacturing partners.