Burberry Commits to The Fight Against COVID-19
The British house will extend efforts to production, research, and food redistribution.
The Coronavirus pandemic continues to reshape the landscape of the fashion industry. With an economy in freefall, medical supplies narrowing, and no end in sight, Burberry is the latest in luxury responding to these dour realities.
In spite of Burberry projected sales hit of 70-80 percent in March’s final fiscal quarter – according to Bernstein 44 percent of Burberry sales can be attributed to their Chinese clientele, a population with whom the virus first established footing – the brand has positioned itself as a leader in research aid. The British house is mobilizing the development of a single-dose vaccine, a product of the same University of Oxford that found success against Ebola and MERS.
“Burberry’s gift is an example of forward-thinking corporate philanthropy that complements and bolsters government and other investment in Oxford’s leading global talent in this field,” said University of Oxford’s head of medical sciences and professor Gavin Screaton. “Donations like this have real and rapid impact, allowing us to be agile in our response, to accelerate this time-critical research.”
Funding will also be distributed to The Felix Project and FareShare charities which dedicate efforts to combat nation-wide food poverty, a cause that has drastically worsened since COVID19’s contagion within the country.
Upholding that same dedication, the heritage brand has begun retooling its Castleford, Yorkshire factory to pivot from Tartan pattern production to the assemblage of nonsurgical masks and gowns for COVID-19 patients (contingent on approval from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency). Likewise, the brand will donate more than 100,000 surgical masks to the UK National Health Service to benefit front-line medical professionals.
“In challenging times, we must pull together,” said Burberry CEO, Marco Gobbetti. “Together, we will get through this.” While there is no defined panacea, fashion’s unthreatened, unwavering unity seems a close second.