How Companies Are Stepping Up to Fight COVID-19
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As COVID-19 continues to stretch healthcare supply chains to what some fear could be their breaking points, various businesses are stepping up to repurpose their manufacturing capabilities to produce much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and hand sanitizer.
These are just a few of the companies and entrepreneurs who are stepping up to help keep healthcare workers and the rest of us safe in the current crisis.
Fashion designers and clothing companies making masks
- Project Runway alum Christian Siriano responded to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s request for businesses with the necessary equipment and personnel to manufacture medical supplies
- Siriano tweeted a photo of prototypes in the evening on March 20.
- According to Cuomo’s March 20 tweet, the two have since been in touch:
- Designer Michael Costello is also producing surgical-grade masks which he plans to give away for free “to all first responders, hospitals, and healthcare providers."
- Former Project Runway and Project Runway Allstars alum Edmond Newton began making masks for Atlanta’s Grady Hospital after Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms declared a state of emergency on March 15.
- Prada is making 110,000 masks and 80,000 overalls by April 6 (all to be manufactured in its factory in Montone, Italy) for the Tuscany area.
- Inditex, parent company of fast-fashion powerhouse Zara, is making its factories and logistics teams available to the Spanish government to assist with mask donation. The company has already donated 10,000 protective face masks, with another 300,000 coming in the next week. It is also in the process of sourcing medical-grade fabric for hospital gowns and exploring the possibility of switching some of its textile-manufacturing capacity over to the production of health materials
Beer and spirits companies repurpose their alcohol
- Pernod Ricard, which makes Jameson whisky, was one of the first major distillers to announce it was producing and donating alcohol, providing 70,000 liters for hydroalcoholic gel.
- On March 23, Anheuser-Busch InBev (the world’s biggest beer maker) and Diageo (the world’s biggest distiller) pledged to donate millions of liters of alcohol to make hand sanitizers and disinfectants to help fight COVID-19.
- AbInBev tweeted a photo of the lineup on March 22:
- Diageo will donate two million litres of grain neutral spirit - a 96% ethyl alcohol used mainly for vodka and gin - to help manufacturers make more than eight million 250mL bottles of sanitizers, which are in short supply in countries hardest-hit by coronavirus: Australia, Brazil, Britain, Kenya, India, Ireland, Italy and the U.S.
- On March 25, AbInBev started shipping about 50,000 liters of disinfectant made with alcohol removed from its alcohol-free beers.
- Portland, Oregon, distillery Shine Distillery and Grill is repurposing the high-proof byproduct from its distilling process to produce an 80% alcohol by volume hand cleaner, which it is making available to the public, free of charge, in 2.7 oz bottles. Before COVID-19, the company used the material to scrub windows and floor drains.
- Atlanta, Georgia, distiller Old Fourth Distillery began making hand sanitizer in mid-March. Its concoction, which is free of charge, is made with aloe vera gel and 95% ethanol.
- Durham Distillery in Durham, North Carolina, has developed a 70% ethanol sanitizing solution which hospitality workers can use to wipe down high-touch surfaces such as door handles and sink faucets.
- Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is one of many Delaware-based breweries and distilleries partnering with the state government to make hand sanitizers.
Perfumeries repurpose factories
- LVMH, parent company of numerous luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, has repurposed its factories to make hand sanitizers for the French government.
- LVMH repurposed its factory outside Orléans in only 72 hours: read the story at the Financial Times.
— Lorelei Yang
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