L’ORÉAL, LVMH AND ZARA AMONG GROWING LIST OF COMPANIES MANUFACTURING PRODUCTS TO HELP PREVENT AND COPE WITH THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 [UPDATED]

As Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on communities across the world, fashion and beauty brands have announced plans to begin manufacturing products that will help prevent the infectious disease from spreading. LVMH joined the fight first when the luxury conglomerate announced Sunday that it would be turning its perfumes and cosmetics business into a hand sanitizer manufacturer and that it will distribute the sanitizers to French health authorities. The move was in response to shortages of the germ-fighting gel in France.

On Wednesday, L’Oréal leapt to humanity’s aid by also offering up its factories to produce hand sanitizer. According to WWD, the beauty giant’s brand La Roche-Posay will provide hydro-alcoholic gel to hospitals, nursing homes and main partnering pharmacies throughout Europe, while its other Garnier brand will dispense millions of units of the gel to all of its European clients in the food distribution channel.

“In this exceptional crisis situation it is our responsibility to contribute in every possible way to the collective effort,” said Jean-Paul Agon, L’Oréal chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement to WWD. “Through these gestures, L’Oréal wishes to express its appreciation, support and solidarity with all those who mobilize with extraordinary courage and abnegation to fight against this pandemic.”

Outside of the beauty realm, both small and large apparel brands have begun producing masks as the Coronavirus outbreak worsens. American Apparel’s Dov Charney, offered up the workforce and management team behind his four-year-old label Los Angeles Apparel to manufacture masks or other medical products for “any government agency.”

Later in the week and as the situation turned dire in Spain, Zara owner Inditex said it would produce hospital gowns and masks for patients and medical workers alike. Per a statement made to Vogue, the fast-fashion behemoth explained that it “will make a delivery at least once a week of materials we purchase directly.”

In addition, the company said it is looking into switching some of its textile-manufacturing capacity over to the production of health materials. As of now, Inditex is only providing these much-needed products to people in Spain.

Hopefully as the number of Covid-19 cases and death toll rise, more companies around the world will use their manufacturing capacities to help combat the virus. We’ll keep updating this post as we here about more life-saving production initiatives.

See updates here for every fashion and beauty retailer temporarily closing to help mitigate the spread of the virus here.

UPDATE, Thursday, March 19: Several indie beauty brands have pivoted their production focus to hand sanitizer as well. The founder of Skin Probiotics had been making hand gel on the side for years, but has made it her main project now that Covid-19 has threatened the country’s supply. Similarly, Hudson Valley Skincare announced via Instagram that its suspended normal production to churn out hand sanitizers for its community.

The buzzy CBD category has also begun making disinfecting hand gel. There’s now a CBD hand sanitizer and moisturizing spray from the brand Pure Bloom.

UPDATE, Friday, March 20: Guerlain is the latest beauty brand to join the global effort to minimize the spread of Covid-19. On Friday, the company sent out an official release stating that it has converted its La Ruche fragrance, makeup and skin-care factory and Orphin fragrance factory into hand sanitizer production sites. According to the statement, the disinfecting gel will not be for sale, but “it is freely being shared with French healthcare workers and hospitals” in hopes to “protect the doctors, nurses and hospital staff caring for others on the front line of this pandemic.”

Los Angeles-based Big Bud Press, a brand that specializes in size-inclusive and unisex apparel, announced Friday via Instagram that it’s also begun making masks to donate. “We’ll be funding the project, buying the materials, paying for the sewing to keep these folks in work, and donating every mask we make,” the post reads. “We’re hoping to make around 100 to 200 masks a day.” The masks will donated around Los Angeles and Chicago area hospitals, homeless shelters and long-term care facilities.

On Twitter, Christian Siriano said he will dedicate his sewing team to New York’s Covid-19 prevention efforts by having them make masks. Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed they are working together.

Brandon Maxwell also announced in an Instagram post that he is focusing his eponymous label’s creative efforts on making medical gowns. “We have spent the last week researching the appropriate medical textiles to create these gowns and are proud to provide these much needed items to the doctors and nurses on the front lines,” the post reads. “As more information becomes available on how to manufacture medical grade masks and gloves, we will transition in to doing so.”

Meanwhile, as an equipment shortage for medical workers continues to be a pressing issues in Italy, Ermanno Scervino is stepping up to produce surgical masks. According to WWD, the luxury label is making masks certified by the Florence University that will be distributed at Tuscan hospitals.

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