Photo:Courtesy of Christy Dawn
A few weeks back, I began to wonder how the fashion industry would respond to the mass upheaval happening in the world. I got my first response when Christian Siriano announced he’d be personally making masks to address the shortage in New York City. Since then, we’ve shifted our own editorial strategy, and fashion-industry leaders have taken up arms to address the toll COVID-19 has taken on employment, the healthcare system, and life itself. As the world changes before our eyes, we as consumers have the power to re-envision what our world will look like and what brands to support and rally behind.
Who wouldn’t want to support the brands that are creating coalitions, maintaining employment, investing in small businesses, and even opening their factories to produce essential medical supplies like face masks? Why wouldn’t we want to consume more consciously and support all those in need during this time? So ahead, we’re shedding light on the fashion brands and retailers that have donated during the crisis (totaling upward of $70 million and 700,000 masks) so that if you do choose to shop during this time, you know what your money is going toward.
How it's helping: AG Jeans announced on its social media channels that it would be committing $1 million to COVID-19 Los Angeles County Response Fund to help support clinics and hospitals across the county and scale up COVID-19 testing. In addition to donating, the company has personally vowed to fight unemployment by continuing to pay and providing benefits to its 2000 employees.
How it's helping: Burberry converted its Yorkshire-based trench coat factory to make non-surgical gowns and masks and is facilitating the delivery of more than 100,000 surgical masks to the UK National Health Service (NHS) staff. In addition to producing surgical masks, the brand is also donating to charities across the country and funding the University of Oxford research for a single-dose vaccine.
How it's helping: BVLGARI has donated to Rome’s Spallanzani hospital to fund the acquisition of a new high-definition 3D microscope for infectious disease research. In addition to funding scientific research around the virus, it's partnered with ICR Cosmetics to launch a massive production of hand sanitizer gel. The brand is expected to deliver several hundred thousand 75 milliliter bottles over the next two months that will be distributed via the Italian Civil Protection Agency to the medical establishments most in need. In addition, 10% of all sales made from May 1st to 8th, will go towards Save the Children and their fight against Covid-19 in the US and Canada.
How it's helping: The parent company behind some of our favorite shoe brands including Sam Eldeman, Franco Sarto, Vince, and Veronica Beard has also dedicated resources to the crisis. They redirected skilled sewers to manufacture thousands of masks per day at its Allen Edmonds factory in Port Washington, Wisconsin, that are being delivered to hospitals in the Wisconsin region. Caleres has also donated N95 masks to healthcare systems and first responders in New York and Saint Louis, Missouri, and has partnered with Crocs to deliver free footwear to healthcare professionals.
How it's helping: The Italian conglomerate Calzedonia, behind Intimissimi, and Falconeri, has also dedicated itself to helping during the pandemic. It converted its facilities in Avio, Gissi, and Croatia to produce medical masks and gowns that have been distributed to the Hospital of Verona.
How it's helping: As the spread of the virus intensifies, Chanel pledged to produce over 50,000 face masks and gowns for healthcare workers, police, and other essential workers in France. The fashion house is also contributing 1.2 million to French emergency services.
How it's helping: Coty, the beauty manufacturer behind Covergirl and Calvin Klein fragrances, isn’t just doling out your go-to beauty products during this time. The brand has converted factories in the United States and Morocco to make hydroalcoholic gel and has been distributed to medical and emergency services staff who are facing shortages, and they’re providing Coty employees working in the plants with sanitizers as well.
How it's helping: The sustainable fashion brand Christy Dawn has been making nonmedical-grade reusable face masks made from 100% doubled deadstock cotton. For every five masks sold, five will be donated to essential workers in need at grocery stores and nursing homes.
How it's helping: Cult Gaia contributed 10% of its sales from March to April to No Kid Hungry, and its contributions provided 250,000 meals. In addition to donating a portion of its profits, it's been sending gifts to individuals and healthcare workers tagged on their social accounts.
How it's helping: The French luxury brand behind some of our most beloved bag trends and beauty products has thrown its efforts into COVID-19 relief. Dior’s workshop, which generally makes Baby Dior products, has reopened with volunteer staff to produce and supply masks to exposed workers such as cashiers in supermarkets. In addition to producing masks, the perfume and cosmetic production sites of Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain, and Parfums Givenchy retooled their production lines to make large quantities of hand sanitizer gel for hospitals.
How it's helping: The footwear company behind some of our favorite summer-ready sandals has secured 10,000 medical-grade masks that it donated to nine hospitals in New York and Washington. The brand has also provided funds to Feeding America and No Kid Hungry to fight hunger during this time of mass unemployment.
How it's helping: Beauty aficionados may first think of Dyson for the groundbreaking hair dryer it released a while back—but let it also be known that this brand has been dedicated to COVID relief too. The company designed its own ventilator from scratch in 10 days called the CoVent. It will provide 11,000 to the UK and donate 4000 abroad.
How it's helping: Eileen Fisher has become known for its commitment to creating quality staple pieces and continues to do so by creating key pieces to fighting COVID-19. During this time, it has been producing 300 to 500 masks per week using its organic cotton fabrics. It's also launched a free online series, Women Together Connect, to offer a way for the community to stay connected during this time of social distancing.
How it's helping: The beauty corporation behind some of your favorite serums has by no means stood back behind the frontlines during this time. Not only has Estée Lauder reopened its Melville manufacturing facility this week to produce hand sanitizer for high-need groups including the medical staff fighting the coronavirus. But the corporation has also donated a $2 million grant to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières to support its efforts in countries that lack substantial resources to combat the virus.
How it's helping: Another house under the LVMH conglomerate, Fendi has been providing financial support for the Lombardy region and sending over 100,000 surgical masks to Tuscany—the second country behind the United Stated to be impacted the worse by the spread of COVID-19.
How it's helping: Cosmetics house Fresh has aided during this crisis by sending 10,000 units of skincare products (cleansers and moisturizer creams) to isolation centers set up for homeless patients who have contracted COIVD-19, as well as healthcare professionals in several New York hospitals. In addition to donating, the brand has launched a campaign called Everyday Heroes on social networks, inviting followers to nominate their heroes who are battling the virus each day. A box of skincare products will be sent to these Everyday Heroes as a tribute to their work.
How it's helping: Hermès is another brand that has dedicated itself to doing the right thing during this time. It's not only pledged to maintain the salaries of its 15,500 employees worldwide without having to resort to any additional government support, but it's also pledged to donate €20 million to the public hospitals in the Paris region in addition to the 662 pounds of hand sanitizer produced by its fragrance manufacturing site and more than 31,000 masks produced by the company.
How it's helping: H&M may be the brand you think of for tackling the latest trends, but it's also trying to help tackle the widespread effects of the pandemic. The company announced that it will be utilizing its international supply chain to produce personal protective equipment to be provided to hospitals and healthcare workers.
How it’s helping: Not only is the brand selling non-medical masks; in partnership with Madewell, it has donated 75,000 single-use masks to Montefiore Health System hospitals in New York.
How it's helping: Kate Spade’s foundation and parent company are also trying to offset some of the impacts of the crisis. It's done so by donating $100,000 to its partner Crisis Text Line, a program that provides mental health counseling and emotional support to doctors and nurses as they grapple with the ongoing effects of the pandemic. That's in addition to donating $2 million to the NYC Department of Small Business Services to provide support to small businesses in New York City affected by COVID-19.
How It’s helping: The Jewelry brand has donated its yellow branded bandanas to local female volunteer groups to sew masks for hospitals in Austin, New Orleans, New York, and California. In addition to donating materials for masks, the brand has helped provide over 1 million meals through Feeding America and continues to donate 50% of the proceeds from their Everlyne Bracelet to the cause. They’re also working with the organization First Book, to ensure children in low-income communities receive books through the purchase of their Literacy Charm.
How it's helping: Intimates brand Knix has also led the charge in sourcing protective gear for frontline medical workers. The brand has managed to secure $150,000 in community donations to finance the purchase of 200,000 units of certified masks, gloves and N95 masks for hospitals and clinics across the U.S. and Canada.
How it's helping: Possibly one of the most innovative ways to help out during the pandemic, Levi's has been hosting a virtual concert series on Instagram Live, featuring artists such as Snoop Dogg, Sigrid, Kali Uchis, Burna Boy, to fight against COVID-19. Each performer has picked a charity, and Levi's has donated $10,000 to that charity on behalf of the artist. In addition to its concert series, the brand has donated $3 million to communities that are vulnerable and at risk during the pandemic.
How it's helping: In addition to LVMH’s other fashion houses, Louis Vuitton has also joined the bandwagon to help during the pandemic. Both in France and the U.S., it's repurposed its workshops to produce nonmedical masks to help stop the spread of the virus.
How it's helping: It should come as no surprise that this cosmetic company is helping out during this time, as it's previously used 100% of the profits from its Viva Glam lipsticks to support the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS. Now the brand has pledged to dedicate $10 million dollars to COVID relief to support 250 local organizations working on the frontlines.
How it's helping: Michael Kors has pledged $1 million, with the designer adding another $1 million personally, to New York–based organizations supporting coronavirus relief efforts. The amount of $750,000 will go to NYU Langone Health, another $750,000 to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, $250,000 to God’s Love We Deliver, and $250,000 to A Common Thread, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund for COVID-19 Relief.
How it's helping: The ready-to-wear, made-in–New York brand has had its atelier team sew caps and masks that are being donated to Masks4Medicine, a grassroots organization of doctors and nurses in NYC. The brand also has developed a limited-edition Nili Lotan Loves New York capsule of camouflage sweat separates, and 15% of the profits will be donated to NYU Langone Hospital in support of its frontline medial workers.
How it's helping: Nordstrom is teaming up with one of its partners Kaas Tailored to have members of its Nordstrom Alterations teams in Washington, Oregon, Texas, and California produce 100,000 masks to be donated to Providence Health & Services in Washington. In addition to producing masks, Nordstrom will donate 1% of the sale of gift cards to annual community cash grants and support organizations that provide basic necessities for kids and families, which include things like access to healthcare, housing, food, and education.
How it’s helping: The sustainable swimwear brand has partnered with Bauland’s Emily Bauer to donate over 20,000 masks and have almost reached their donation goal of $100,000 for their Mask Fund. In addition to donating masks, the brand is donating 2% of all sales to Los Angeles’s COVID Emergency Crisis.
How it's helping: Pyer Moss has also dedicated great resources to help. The brand turned its HQ into a donation facility for gloves and masks and with its efforts were able to source and create over 8300 masks and 1000 gloves to donate to frontline workers. In addition to creating and collecting necessary medical supplies, the brand started a fund with $50,000 and grew it to $100,000 to donate to minority and women-owned small businesses. It's donated to over 38 businesses thus far.
How it's helping: In collaboration with the Conduit, Gail’s Bakery, Ralph Lauren is providing more than 25,000 meals to NHS workers across London hospitals who have worked long shifts and may not have had time to shop for their families. The brand also announced a $10 million pledge around the world, including a network of international cancer charities. This is in addition to its partnership with the CDFA to donate 250,000 masks and 25,000 isolation gowns to U.S. frontline workers.
How it's helping: Reformation partnered with the city of Los Angeles to recruit and organize local manufacturers to create nonmedical face masks to help curtail the shortage of masks and produce up to five million masks. So far, the brand has shipped around 100,000 masks and donated them to The Mission Homeless Shelters and UCLA Health for medical staff to use as they leave shifts and return to their communities.
How it's helping: Revolve announced on its Instagram that it would donate 10,000 N95 FDA-approved face masks to two Los Angeles hospitals. The retailer also procured 20,000 additional masks to put aside for other healthcare workers and called upon its influencers and followers to spread the word to frontline workers in need of protective gear.
How it's helping: Through its Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation, the retailer has pledged $600,000 to organizations that support COVID-19 relief efforts. Amounts of $250,000 will be donated to the NewYork-Presbyterian COVID-19 Patient Care Fund; $200,000 to Bring Change to Mind, an organization that creates virtual programs for high school students aimed to reduce isolation; and $150,000 to Girls Inc., which will provide social and emotional support for girls affected by the pandemic.
How it's helping: The French apparel brand is distributing 10,000 masks made from excess fabric to nonmedical workers (so the medical-grade ones can be prioritized for essential personnel) at hospitals across France. Sandro will also offer breakfast to hospital employees every Friday in alternating cities throughout the globe. The company has also designed a shirt that will be sold on its website, with 100% of proceeds going to the Red Cross.
How it's helping: Like many impacted businesses, Sephora had to lay off part-time and seasonal workers during this time but offered severance and created an internal Stand Together fund to support employees who find themselves in difficult situations. For its distribution center employees, it's increased their salaries and is encouraging its employees to contribute their skills to local communities as well by launching its Virtual Volunteer Programs to address urgent needs spawned by the crisis. The brand is also aiding two New York hospitals by donating kits of products for healthcare personnel on the frontlines of the health crisis.
How it's helping: On top of Target’s previous donations of antiviral and N95 respirator masks to first responders and healthcare professionals at more than 50 organizations across the country, it's also donated an additional two million KN95 respirator masks to the medical community. For team members and communities that need extra resources in challenging times like this, Target and the Target Foundation will also be giving $10 million to expand relief and assistance to its team members, as well as local, national, and global organizations responding to the pandemic.
How it's helping: Tiffany & Co. Foundation will be committing $1 million to COVID-19 relief efforts and donating $750,000 to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization. The other $250,000 will be given to The New York Community Trust’s NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund. In addition to its own donation, the New York–based company will be matching employee donations, dollar for dollar.
How it's helping: The Tory Burch Foundation donated $5 million to the largest healthcare workers’ union to provide 24,000 essential products like sneakers, fanny packs, and easy-to-clean clothing to wear under scrubs for the 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. In addition to its donation, the foundation is donating fabric for masks to the Catholic Health Services of Long Island, which services six New York hospitals to create masks and hospital gowns. On top of that, the foundation, in partnership with Bank of America, is continuing to provide loans to female entrepreneurs and offering resources online for small businesses struggling as a result of COVID-19, and offering free weekly webinars to help entrepreneurs.
How it's helping: The brand that creates clothing for every body type has joined the COVID-19 relief efforts. Universal Standard to date has distributed over $500,000 worth of clothing from its line to doctors, nurses, and medical workers on the frontlines. In addition to providing essential supplies to the frontline, the brand is set to release a children’s book in which 100% of proceeds being donated to #SAVEWITHSTORIES that helps feed children during the pandemic.