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A few weeks ago, tales of beauty brands producing disinfectant gel or haute couture fashion houses stitching together hospital gowns would have seemed incredible. The coronavirus pandemic has changed our world, however, and among those battling to contain its effects are the companies whose products symbolise luxury and exclusivity for travellers.
One example is Louis Vuitton, in whose Parisian ready-to-wear atelier a team of volunteer staff is making protective gowns for frontline workers at six hospitals in the French capital. Another name with fashion pedigree, Lacoste, recently completed the production of 100,000 protective masks at its factory in eastern France, while Lacoste’s plant in Argentina and its partner’s facility in Turkey are manufacturing masks and gowns, too.
Beyond fashion, two names prominent in beauty and skincare are joining in the battle against Covid-19. Dutch wellbeing brand Rituals has donated 200,000 goodie bags to medical staff at 80 hospitals in the country. The bags contain treatments for tired, dry hands and were put together by employee volunteers at the company’s Amsterdam headquarters. L’Oréal is combining with Bacardi-owned vodka maker Grey Goose to produce 230,000 litres of hand sanitiser. The distiller supplied around 160,000 litres of alcohol which L’Oréal used in the disinfectant gel, with the finished product being distributed cost-free to French hospitals, pharmacies and care homes.
China’s Alibaba Group has undertaken multiple initiatives across several countries to counter the pandemic. The technology giant, which is sponsoring the TFWA i.lab in Cannes (29 September – 2 October), has sent Covid-19 testing kits to France, masks and medical equipment to Africa and is financing research into the virus in China, Australia and America.