With the continuous spread of COVID-19, hospitals, clinics and other doctor’s offices have become overwhelmed with patients, causing a shortage in Personal Protective Equipment, like masks and gloves. As doctors and nurses continue to fight against the virus, fashion designers and apparel brands have begun working to provide the supplies needed to keep medical professionals safe.
Fashion designer Christian Siriano tweeted out last week, informing Andrew Cuomo (Governor of New York) that he and his team are ready and willing to begin sewing masks for medical professionals on the front lines. “We are working hard on this and more to come soon. We want to be safe and make sure all the legal requirements are met. Thanks everyone for all the support!,” Siriano stated in an Instagram post on Sunday.
Following Siriano’s lead is founder of workwear brand Hedley & Bennett, Ellen Marie Bennett. Bennett has shifted production in Los Angles to help manufacture masks and gowns for those in need. Bennett shared on Saturday that the brand is “working on lots of prototype face masks […] while navigating how to get these out to those working on our front lines—the doctors, nurses, first responders, grocery store employees, restaurant workers.” While the masks are on preorder to the public, they will be donated to hospitals first and foremost.
Another fashion designer working to eliminate the mask shortage is Los Angeles Apparel founder, Dov Charney. Charney, who originally began producing masks for his employees, has offered up his factories to begin mass production for hospitals in need. While Los Angeles Apparel is providing masks for medical professionals fighting against COVID-19, the masks are also available for public purchase.
Throughout the fight against COVID-19, we’ve seen many people working to fulfill the shortages caused by the virus. LVMH (manufacturer for Christian Dior and Givenchy) has converted its fragrance factories into making hand sanitizer. Medical TV shows, like Grey’s Anatomy and The Resident have donated their supplies to hospitals in need. And Illinois based doctor, Lauren Streicher has launched a #medicalmaskforce challenge on social media, asking for those who can sew to join in her in making face masks for those on the front lines.
As the fight against COVID-19 continues, we will be covering how brands and businesses step up.