Kering-Owned Brands, Including Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, to Start Making Surgical Masks to Help Combat Covid-19
As public fear continues to grow, various corporations, F&B establishments and businesses around the world have banded together in the battle against coronavirus. The latest contributor in helping the healthcare industry is none other than French luxury group Kering. The conglomerate, whose brands include Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga among others, announced in an official statement on Sunday that it will be supplying three million surgical masks to the French healthcare sector.
These masks will be purchased from China and then donated to health service providers in France, who are in dire need of medical supplies during the covid-19 pandemic that has caused several countries around the world to shut their borders.
Kering’s Balenciaga and Saint Laurent will open their French workshops to prep and manufacture surgical masks under strict health protection measures for all staff, as soon as the manufacturing process and materials are approved by the authorities. Production will commence once that happens. Kering has also made a financial donation to the Institut Pasteur to support its research into covid-19.
Separately, Gucci will be donating 1.1 million surgical masks and 55,000 medical overalls in the coming weeks to Italy’s Tuscany region, once the relevant authorities give their approval.
Prada has also started the production of 80,000 medical overalls and 110,000 masks to be allocated to healthcare personnel, which will also be supplied to Tuscany. The production plan provides for daily deliveries, which will be completed by April 6. The luxury fashion giant added that the articles are being produced internally at its factory in Montone which has remained open specifically for this purpose with support from a network of Italian external suppliers.
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In January, Kering had also made donations to Italian hospitals as well as the Hubei Red Cross Foundation in China. Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, had told WWD, “Our thoughts are with the many impacted by the novel coronavirus outbreak, and therefore we have decided to donate the funds as an immediate contribution to assist.”
But Kering is not alone in the fight against coronavirus as fellow luxury conglomerate LVMH had previously announced that it will donate 40 million masks to France, on top of opening some of its beauty and fragrance factories to make hand sanitiser gels. Jewellery brand Swarovski has also donated around 3 million yuan in its effort to help combat the virus. Bvlgari, too, will manufacture together with its historical fragrances partner, ICR (Industrie Cosmetiche Riunite, Lodi) several hundreds of thousands hand sanitiser gel bottles to be supplied to all medical facilities through the Protezione Civile (Italian Civil Protection Department). The hand gel will be distributed in 75ml recyclable bottles through the Protezione Civile. Bvlgari, which is owned by LVMH, plans to manufacture hundreds of thousands of bottles in the coming two months.
As of Monday night, the total number of infected patients in Singapore has risen to 509, with over 343,000 people infected globally and more than 14,900 deaths.