The list of fashion and beauty brands pivoting their businesses to help fight the outbreak of COVID-19 is ever extending.
And this morning Burberry announced it would also be dedicating its resources as a business to support those impacted by coronavirus and to prevent further infection.
The London based luxury brand will use its extensive global supply chain network to fast track the delivery of over 100,000 surgical masks to the UK National Health Service, for use by medical staff. Burberry is also retooling its trench coat factory in Castleford, Yorkshire, to make non-surgical gowns and masks for patients, the production and distribution of which will be subject to approval from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
In addition to helping supply NHS workers with much-needed protective gear, Burberry is also funding research into a single-dose vaccine developed by the University of Oxford that is on course to begin human trials next month. The University has one of the world’s best track records in emergency vaccine development, with past success in fighting Ebola and MERS.
The amount donated to the university has not been disclosed, but the University of Oxford’s Head of Medical Sciences, Professor Gavin Screaton, commented: “We are delighted with Burberry’s generous support for the University’s research into a vaccine for COVID-19. 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. Donations like this have real and rapid impact, allowing us to be agile in our response, to accelerate this time-critical research.”
Given any vaccine is likely to take months to test and months more to get to shelves, Burberry is also donating to charities including FareShare and The Felix Project, dedicated to tackling food poverty across the UK. With pressures mounting on food supplies, the charities are further expanding efforts to help those struggling as a result of the outbreak. This includes setting up community produce hubs, delivering food to young people who rely on free school meals and increasing pre-packed food parcels to help food banks cope with demand and maintain social distancing policies.
“In challenging times, we must pull together,” said Marco Gobbetti, Burberry’s CEO in a statement. “The whole team at Burberry is very proud to be able to support those who are working tirelessly to combat COVID-19, whether by treating patients, working to find a vaccine solution or helping provide food supplies to those in need at this time. COVID-19 has fundamentally changed our everyday lives, but we hope that the support we provide will go some way towards saving more lives, bringing the virus under control and helping our world recover from this devastating pandemic. Together, we will get through this.”