The BFC calls on designers to help produce masks

If you’re a UK designer with the ability to manufacture essential products, the British Fashion Council needs you.

by Otamere Guobadia
20 March 2020, 12:10pm

Marine Serre. Photography Mitchell Sams.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having serious repercussions around the globe, and the fashion industry has been no less impacted. While fashion has always been quick to make changes on its runways -- with high-end masks even making recent appearances in brands Louis Vuitton, Marine Serre and Gucci -- its behind the scenes workings, ethical practices, and reckoning with social justice has often lagged behind. But there's nothing like the outbreak of a global pandemic to shake up a brand's priorities.

With news that hospitals around the UK reporting shortages of masks, ventilators and other essential equipment, and some front-line medical professionals forced to work without necessary protection, yesterday the British Fashion Council announced a call to arms to the fashion industry. "In times of need, the fashion industry can be of service," their message began. They went on to ask those brands who had capacity for the "manufacture of essential products including masks" and were "able and willing to support with the production of anything non-ventilator related," to contact them directly to assist in their coordinated support of various government departments impacted by the shortages..

This development follows recent news that fashion powerhouse LVMH would be using already existing cosmetics production lines to create much needed hand-sanitiser to be donated to Hospitals in France -- a lightning quick response to the French government's appeal to industries to help meet the overwhelming demand for essential medical products in the wake of the worsening crisis. It also follows Prada’s pledge to donate six intensive care units to three Milan hospitals. Let's hope that this spirit of meaningful social consciousness continues to impact the fashion industry long after the pandemic has been dealt with.

british fashion council