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Burberry is swapping trench coat production for masks and hospital gowns

The British fashion house is also facilitating the delivery of masks and gowns to medical staff and patients, and funding a COVID-19 vaccine research at Oxford University.

Burberry is swapping trench coat production for masks and hospital gowns

Models present creations during the Burberry catwalk show at London Fashion Week, February 17, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Henry Nicholls)

Burberry is joining the growing list of fashion brands and luxury companies repurposing its resources to combat the spread of COVID-19.

On March 28, the fashion house announced that it will utilise its global supply chain network to fast-track the delivery of over 100,000 surgical masks to the UK National Health Service for use by medical staff.

In addition, Burberry will retool its trench coat factory in Yorkshire to make non-surgical gowns and masks for patients. Production and distribution will be subject to approval from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). 

The fashion house will also support the community by donating to charities including FareShare and The Felix Project, which aim to tackle food poverty in the UK. 

As the UK continues to fight the coronavirus, charities have been expanding their efforts to help those struggling as a result of the outbreak. Efforts include setting up community produce hubs, delivering food to young people who rely on free school meals and increasing pre-packed food parcels to help food banks cope with demand and maintain social distancing policies.

In terms of long-term support, the fashion house is funding research into a single-dose vaccine developed by the University of Oxford that is on course to begin human trials next month. The university has one of the world’s best track records in emergency vaccine development, with past success in fighting Ebola and MERS.

READ> Bvlgari donates to Italian hospital to spur development of COVID-19 vaccine

Marco Gobbetti, CEO of Burberry said of these efforts, “In challenging times, we must pull together. The whole team at Burberry is very proud to be able to support those who are working tirelessly to combat COVID-19, whether by treating patients, working to find a vaccine solution or helping provide food supplies to those in need at this time.”

Burberry's efforts come amidst announcement that the brand's sales have taken a hit as a result of COVID-19. Burberry said that sales in the final weeks of March would plunge by up to 80 per cent as the impact of coronavirus already seen in China spread to Europe and the US, causing stores to shut and luxury shopping to dry up.

“In challenging times, we must pull together. The whole team at Burberry is very proud to be able to support those who are working tirelessly to combat COVID-19, whether by treating patients, working to find a vaccine solution or helping provide food supplies to those in need at this time.” – Marco Gobbetti

READ> COVID-19: Fashion labels Balenciaga, Saint Laurent to start making surgical masks

Source: CNA/st(ds)

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