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.
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).
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.
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