Our heroes, the NHS professionals, are working round the clock to save lives during the Covid-19 pandemic so, thankfully, many fashion brands are here to help the cause. Whether it is making masks for those who cannot access them themselves, manufacturing scrubs for health workers or showing support in another way, it is amazing to see the industry rallying to do their bit for those in need and our valuable NHS.
Fashion houses such as LVMH and Chanel were among the first designers to pledge their support for the coronavirus initiative, turning all of their efforts to creating hand sanitisers and masks for health workers. YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP was one of the first businesses to pause delivery, volunteering their transit vans from its premier delivery fleet in London to Age UK charities. It's inspiring to see how many fashion brands have followed suit to help the cause.
Yufash has created masks for the more vulnerable people and is working with local councils to give them to those in need. Believing that everyone deserves the opportunity to protect themselves and stay as safe as possible, the brand is supporting homeless shelters with its face masks. The fabric of the mask is washable, making it reusable and therefore more sustainable than one-time use masks, and is designed with an inner pocket to hold the filter. After its first use, you can either wash it or replace the filter layer with a new tissue paper after each use.
In time, Yufash will be designing masks for the public - due to be released in May. The masks will match the Spring Summer collection, paired with a dress from it, with the aim to encourage customers to dress up and embrace fashion in a safe manner. This could be the new norm so I'm definitely down for finding or creating more stylish masks.
Whatever your fashion opinion might be of Crocs, the brand has donated over 200,000 pairs of shoes to hospitals worldwide to show their support for health workers. Not satisfied with just that, Crocs is now giving £10 with a purchase of classic clogs or contributing £10 to give Crocs footwear as a present to a healthcare professional. In addition to this, Crocs will send a pair of shoes to a someone at the forefront of the Covid-19 crisis for every contribution made.
Designer Julie Brøgger helped Caroline Gration with her volunteer pop-up factory to make 5,000 PPE gowns by creating the patterns. Julie also made card copies to increase manufacturing of these gowns and has since created adigital version to share to all NHS trusts, hospitals and care factories.
Lisou has announced that the brand will be donating to the Royal College of Nursing Foundation which provides hardship grants for nurses who are unable to work during this pandemic. Many nurses who have become infected or had their families fall ill are struggling to work and maintain an income so this is a worthy cause Lisou is supporting. As well as this, the brand plans to donate 20 per cent of all profits of sales from 23rd March for the next three months to the Royal College of Nursing Foundation's support fund against the coronavirus. If you are shopping while in isolation, it might as well be at a brand who's donating to the Covid-19 intiative in some way.
CEO Neil Clifford claimed plans to donate 55 £100 gift cards to every city hospital across the UK and Ireland where Kurt Geiger stores exist and is offering all NHS employees 50% discount for a full year when the stores are open again. The brand has also asked its team of employees to spend some time volunteering with Age UK in their local communities as they are off work and receiving full pay.
NHS workers, listen up: By Rotation, the fashion rental platform, is offering a free rental for post-Covid parties - when they're allowed safely, obviously.
If you're looking for another place to shop with a good conscience, Deborah Lyons is also donating 20 per cent of its online orders to The Trussell Trust which is working to provide emergency food and support to vulnerable individuals across the country. The brand is also collecting sealed and unused N95 masks to redistribute to the NHS in a bid to support our health heroes as well. Why more brands aren't doing this, I don't know.
Helping Italy's Covid-19 crisis, Pink has donated 15 ventilation helmets to Vaio Hospital's intensive care unit.
Boden is supporting our health heroes by collaborating with Helpforce, to improve the lives of NHS staffs and patients. The brand is donating clothing supplies, providing nightwear and clothing to staff who don't have time to go home at the end of their shift and to any patients in need.
Watch brand Oris also ran its own competition, encouraging their online community to nominate their health heroes during this crisis. The brand pledged to gift 50 watches to those on the frontline and within 48 hours, there had been over 400 nominations from all over the world. Recipients are being announced in the next couple of weeks but one of the best heroes nominated was Colonel Tom Moore (nominated by Jasmine Hemsley). It's a small thing but we're sure it brought a smile to some faces.
Another brand who wants to reward our health heroes and others at the forefront of the Covid-19 initiative is Aspinal. The brand has launched #AspinalHeroes on Instagram, selecting 100 winners each week to receive a personalised Aspinal gift as a way of saying thank you.
The Italian designer fashion brand donated six intensive care and resuscitation units to three hospitals in Milan to show its support for the Covid-19 initiative.
As well as producing non-surgical safety masks to healthcare workers, the brand is working to provide breakfast to hospital staff in cities within Europe and the US. Sandro is also launching t-shirts to raise money for the Red Cross and Covid-19 cause.
Another high street brand to pledge its support to the Covid-19 cause, Mango has said the brand will manufacture 13,000 disposable polyethylene gowns for medical teams. The manufacturing process has been changed to accommodate this and over 30 Mango employees have been working on this initiative since 8th April. In addition to this, Mango will donate two million masks to Spanish hospitals to help health professionals carry out their essential work.
Other brands who are utilising their supply chain and workers to create masks and PPE include Reiss, Reformation (who has partnered with the City of Los Angeles) and H&M. Lacoste has been manufacturing on a volunteer basis from mid-March, with the aim of reaching 200,000 washable and reusable masks to protect those on the frontline.