Fashion brands to make face masks for hospital staff
Several big-name fashion brands have lent their services to the coronavirus crisis by making face masks to protect frontline healthcare workers.
Gucci has pledged to transform production lines usually reserved for luxury clothing to make more than a million masks, while Prada – whose joint CEOs have donated money to build two intensive care units in Milan – wants to have 110,000 masks ready by 6 April.
High street brand Zara aims to send 40,000 surgical masks to hospitals and H&M has also pledged to offer protective equipment.
Dior and Louis Vuitton parent company LVMH, which is also helping the hand sanitiser effort, said it will supply French authorities with more than 40 million face masks sourced from China within a matter of weeks.
Smaller brands have helped in the US, including Christian Siriano, Collina Strada, Hanes and LL Bean, but there have been questions asked about the absence of larger fashion names in both America and the UK.
The face mask effort hasn’t just been fronted by clothing companies, though.
Car brand Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which is helping with the ventilator effort, announced it will manufacture and donate more than a million protective masks per month once production capacity was installed at the end of March.
They will initially be distributed in the US, Canada and Mexico to police, firefighters and workers in hospitals, healthcare clinics and ambulances.
CEO Mike Manley said: “We’ve marshalled the resources of the FCA Group to focus immediately on installing production capacity for making masks and supporting those most in need on the front line of this pandemic.”