written by Natasha Dunn
Covid-19. It is fair to say its unprecedented and uncompromising contagion has caused implications and economic turmoil around the world. It is additionally fair to point out that certain sectors in both the world of business and the Fashion Industry have reacted in, dare I say, a morally dubious way. But whilst some companies show their true colours which relate primarily to monetary gain, others expose altruistic tendencies and the ability to thrive even under extreme pressure and instability. In the Fashion Industry particularly there has been an uprising of intelligent problem solving and acts of honourability which were perhaps shocking and unexpected. But who are these brands? And how are they fighting back against the Coronavirus? Season 7 counts down seven brands which are both surviving and thriving, whilst performing acts of benevolence in their stead.
Number one on my list has to be ASOS. A giant in the world of online retail, it is clear to see from their recent Instagram posts that ASOS has primarily been focusing their marketing power on both loungewear and sportswear, an intelligent move in the current climate. Mix that in with relatable meme’s, ASOS appears to still be ‘winning’ despite the advent of social distancing and financial hardship. However, it could be argued that having a well-established e-commerce site is purely coincidental luck, online retail being one of the only viable shopping options. But quick reactions and clever marketing can not just be put down purely to dumb luck. Credit where credit is due ASOS are still making it work.
Next on my count down is H&M. Due to the previous controversies H&M has been embroiled in over the years, it may come as a shock to some that they make this list. However, in reaction to the evermore strained health services the H&M Group have been using their global resources in order to supply the much-needed protective equipment to hospitals. In addition, a quick scroll through there Instagram page provides uplifting posts, with gentle humour very much needed during a time of crisis.
LVMH’s response has been utilising one of their most successful departments to assist in the battle against this Global Epidemic! LVMH brands such as Dior will now be producing hand sanitising gel in place of perfume in order to supply the huge demand. Not only have they put their former perfumeries to good use in the creation of sanitising products, LVMH will additionally be donating the gel to French Health Services, undoubtedly at the detriment of their own financial welfare.
Gucci have taken a slightly different approach in their acts of benevolence in the form of donating money to worthy causes. Alongside their rather large contribution of €2,000,000, they have been using their substantial sway on social media to encourage others to make healthy contributions to the fight against COVID-19. If you wish to donate, please click here. Gucci have been using the full force of their Instagram account by additionally providing helpful tips and strategies in order to prevent the spread of the virus, remaining emotionally and socially connected to others and keeping active during social distancing.
Prada have also been making helpful donations. But rather than monetary assistance they have instead made contributions of medical equipment vital in caring for those both affected and suffering at the hands of the coronavirus in Milanese hospitals. Not forgetting to mention that Prada’s factories are being put to good use, however not in the effort to make luxury clothing, but in the creation of protective wear for medical practitioners valiantly toiling away in the front line of the fight against the virus.
Chanel have also stepped up to the plate and have been making plans to begin production for protective wear, alongside donating large swathes of cash to help prop up and support medical systems.
It is important to note that it isn’t just globally famous fashion brands who are providing much needed medical equipment to our health services. Bethany Williams, a London based designer, is not only assisting the charities in which she already has connections with more vigour than ever before, but is additionally collaborating in creating Scrub Kits, which will then be sent to designers to create then donate the freshly made scrubs to the NHS. If you have the resources and are able to assist the Government and NHS in this time of need please click here. Additionally, you can donate to the Magpie Project, who Williams collaborated with on her Autumn Winter 2020 collection. To discover more and donate please visit their Just Giving page here.
And last but not least Sandro take it one step further. Alongside crafting medical supplies out of excess materials, sustainable in addition to altruistic might I add, they have additionally channelled their creative powers into creating a shirt in which all profits received from the sale will be donated to the Red Cross.
So, there you have it, Season 7’s seven brands who are currently fighting the good fight against Coronavirus in 2020. Although for a large number of smaller brands and companies this level of generous donation is simply not possible. But nevertheless, there is something to be learnt from all of the above. One of those lessons is that resilience is key and whilst thinking outside of the box you may find resolutions to your problems. Brand promotion and visibility are also vital at this time, indeed there has to be a certain level of respect for the current situation but as retailers such as Asos and H&M have shown us there is no shame in some light hearted humour, in a time where that seems very hard to come by. It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a rather strange year and we’ve only just got to April, but even in the darkest of times creativity and escapism are essential and through even the smallest acts of kindness you can make the world of difference.
So, what are your thoughts? Are there any particular brands you believe are showing particular strength and fortitude? What are your favourite brands and how have they responded to the COVID-19 crisis? Please feel free to comment below and share plentifully! Through such dialogue’s we can breathe life into an industry that provides both pleasure and creative spark to millions.