TACOMA, Washington — As the virus continues to halt daily practices, nonessential companies such as the clothing industry are severely impacted. With stores closed, customers are unable to buy from these companies, in turn facilitating the eventual bankruptcy of several businesses. While many clothing companies during COVID-19 are unable to accrue their typical profits, those with ample savings are giving back during this tumultuous time. From donating to struggling nonprofit organizations to producing clothing items for essential workers, here are five clothing companies that are helping society during COVID-19.
Known for their fine and artistic jewelry, the luxury brand Repossi’s signature designs are unique to their company. Artistic director Gaia Repossi influences many with her modernistic approach to traditional jewelry. For their recent project, the brand created the Berbere Chromatic ring with an engraved inscription ‘CARE’. The inscription is in reference to their partnership with the nonprofit organization CARE who receives all the proceeds made from the ring.
Repossi CEO Benjamin Comar praised CARE and their work to support women who have been severely impacted during the pandemic. During COVID-19, CARE has supported vulnerable communities by distributing hygiene kits and food to women and children in need. Last year alone, the humanitarian organization worked in 100 countries and their efforts reached nearly 70 million people. Founded in 1945, CARE supports equal rights and gender equality, values that Repossi staunchly stands behind.
Inspired by their family values and the spirit of giving, The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) have heavily contributed during this pandemic. Not only have they produced gallons of hand sanitizer, but they have also made large monetary and in-kind donations. Furthermore, they established the ELC Cares Employee Relief Fund. To Doctors Without Borders (MSF) itself – a nonprofit organization that raises money to provide proper healthcare to impoverished communities around the world – ELC has donated $2 million dollars. This is to support their work in response to the MSF’s struggle with under-resourced yet severely impacted countries. ELC has also donated $3.2 million dollars for local and international front-line relief.
- North America: In their New York City (NYC) Headquarters, ELC provided a grant to the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund. This fund offers support for New York City’s cultural community organizations. In Canada, ELC provided a grant to Food Banks Canada.
- Asia: Like other clothing companies during COVID-19, ELC donated to the Red Cross Society of China, Give2Asia and other organizations. China Women’s Development Foundation – an organization that supports front-line healthcare workers – received in-kind donations as well.
- Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA): In the EMEA region, ELC supported the Italian Red Cross and Oxfam, an organization that provides COVID-19 relief to South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria.
- Latin America: ELC provided grants to Unibes in Brazil, Cruz Roja in Mexico and the Waldorf Foundation in Colombia.
MAC Viva Glam Fund
COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color. In NYC itself, reports have shown that the number of black and Latino residents who have died from COVID-19 is twice the number of white New Yorkers. MAC’s Viva Glam Fund, partnered with Miley Cyrus, raises money for COVID-19 relief efforts by manufacturing lipsticks of various shades to give back to people of color impacted by the novel coronavirus. The Viva Glam Fund has raised over $10,000,000 and provides aid to healthcare workers that are stationed in vulnerable communities. Other clothing companies during COVID-19 have donated to the fund, including their parent company, Estée Lauder.
Established twenty-six years ago, the Viva Glam Fund annually alters the cause they choose to support. In 2019, the fund focused on the LGBTQ community and brought attention to the ongoing HIV/AIDS fight. As of their 25th anniversary, MAC’s Viva Glam Fund raised and spent over $500 million.
Small countries such as France have been greatly affected by COVID-19. To combat the country’s struggles, French luxury company Kering has purchased three million surgical masks to donate to healthcare services running low on medical supplies. Additionally, Kering-owned Gucci has manufactured over one million masks and 55,000 pairs of medical overalls in Italy. Kering has donated to Italian hospitals struggling with the pandemic alongside the Hubei Red Cross Foundation in China. Kering also donated to the Pasteur Institute, a private French nonprofit organization that researches COVID-19.
The footwear company Nike upholds its mission statement to inspire and innovate every athlete in the world. While their stores are temporarily closed, this statement reminds Nike that their company is for every human being on the planet. The virus has severely impacted healthcare workers as well. To provide relief to these essential workers, Nike has partnered with Oregon Health & Science University and has employed engineers and scientists to construct face shields and powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses for healthcare workers.
To date, Nike has produced and shipped more than 360,000 units of personal protective equipment (PPE) to 30 hospitals in the U.S. In addition, Nike has donated over 140,000 pairs of footwear and apparel to global communities. The company has also contributed monetary donations to COVID-19 response efforts, raising $25 million dollars. Of this, $2 million dollars came solely from employee donations.
As the virus continues to rampage through the world, clothing companies during COVID-19 continue to be severely impacted. However, regardless of the impact, many companies have contributed to COVID-19 relief efforts. Whether through monetary or in-kind donations, these companies aim to support and aid these communities through extraordinary times.
– Aditi Prasad