christian siriano
Photograph courtesy of Imaxtree

H&M, Christian Siriano to Make Protective Equipment to Aid COVID-19 Shortage

Here's how fashion companies are joining the fight against COVID-19.

We’re all in unchartered waters as the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic head on. And now, more than ever, it’s imperative that we all play a part in helping to stem the flow of the virus. For most of us, that’s staying at home to help reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the virus, and for bigger companies like L’Oréal and LVMH and designers like Christian Siriano, it’s about transforming production facilities into hubs that can produce much-needed supplies such as hand sanitizer and protective equipment, as well as using their supply chains to source supplies where possible.

Today, H&M has announced that it will do just that. According to Business of Fashion, the retail giant has confirmed that it is now using its global supply network to help source and then donate protective equipment to hospitals across Europe. “The EU has asked us to share our purchasing operations and logistics capabilities in order to source supplies, but in this urgent initial phase, we will donate the supplies,” a spokesperson told the site. The company confirmed that they were told that face masks were the number one priority, followed by gowns and gloves.

New York-based designer Christian Siriano also pledged his support this weekend, tweeting New York mayor Andrew Cuomo, “If @NYGovCuomo says we need masks my team will help make some. I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help.” He added on an Instagram post that his sewing team are all working from home.

Cuomo responded, and Siriano’s team is now in the process of producing masks. The goal, the designer told Harper’s Bazaar, is to make “a thousand in a few days.” He added, “We’re just working on logistics now; who will get them first, how many we can physically make,” noting that the masks are intended for medical professionals, receptionists, social workers and others on the front line of the crisis. He also called on his fellow designers to join him in this effort to produce face masks. “If everybody can work from home, I think we all could really churn out a lot. They will not be pretty. They are not fashionable in any way. It’s really just a basic white mask that hopefully will help. That’s it.”

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