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Coronavirus: LVMH, Kering, H&M offer medical masks to fight pandemic

Fashion heavyweights Kering, LVMH and H&M are among the companies
donating masks to help medical professionals on the frontline of the fight
against Covid-19.

The news come as the virus continues to spread across the world
and disrupt global supply chains. Covid-19 has already had a huge effect on
the fashion industry, resulting in countless fashion events being postponed
or cancelled and stores and other business facilities being closed.

LVMH offers 10 million masks

To help fight the virus, French luxury conglomerate
LVMH announced it has managed to secure an order with a Chinese industrial
supplier of 10 million masks to be distributed in France in the coming
days. The order will be repeated for a minimum of four weeks in similar
quantities, resulting in an expected total of around 40 million masks. LVMH CEO Bernard
Arnault will be financing the first week of deliveries – amounting to five
million euros.

The news comes after the company last week announced it would be
retooling all its production facilities in France for its perfumes and
cosmetics division to instead manufacture hydroalcoholic gel to be provided
to public authorities.

Kering donates masks, prepares to manufacture its own

Fellow French luxury giant Kering has offered three million medical masks,
purchased and imported from China, to the French health service in the
coming days. The group is also preparing the workshops of its Balenciaga
and Yves Saint Laurent labels to manufacture their own masks.

Additionally, the company said it has donated an undisclosed amount to
the Institut Pasteur to support its research into Covid-19. This follows
the announcement earlier this month that Kering had made donations to the
four major foundation hospitals in Lombardy, Veneto, Tuscany and Lazio in
Italy, the country worst hit by Covid-19.

Kering added that its Gucci brand could be able to donate one million
surgical masks and 55,000 medical overalls in the coming weeks, subject to
relevant authorizations.

H&M re-purposes supply chain to produce protective gear

Swedish fast-fashion giant H&M has similarly announced it is “quickly
arranging” for its supply chain to manufacture personal protective
equipment for hospitals and health care workers fighting the coronavirus
pandemic.

“H&M Group will utilize its supply chain capacity, including its
widespread purchasing operations and logistics capabilities, in order to
start delivering as soon as possible,” the firm said in a statement. “The
company’s supply chain teams around the world are now collectively
supporting in these initial efforts to support countries and communities
worldwide.”

H&M CEO Helena Helmersson added: “The Coronavirus is
dramatically affecting each and every one of us, and H&M Group is, like
many other organisations, trying our best to help in this extraordinary
situation. We see this is as a first step in our efforts to support in any
way we can. We are all in this together, and have to approach this as
collectively as possible.”

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  • Photo credit: Louis Vuitton AW20/21, courtesy of
    Ten-Dem

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