Closed stores, production mostly at a standstill and the possibility of a looming recession that has consumers hesitant to spend means the fashion industry, just like many others, has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this hasn’t stopped countless brands from stepping in to help relief efforts, whether it’s by making medical-grade face masks and gowns, utilising their extensive supply chains or making donations. And one of the latest labels to chime in is Ralph Lauren, which has donated $10 million towards helping to mitigate the disease. So far, this is the biggest contribution among American fashion brands in response to the pandemic.
As well as making a name for himself as a sartorial pioneer, the 80-year-old fashion designer is also a renowned philanthropist. And the $10 million is a commitment from his charitable arm, the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, formerly known as the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation.
Now more than ever, supporting each other in this time of need has become our mission. As we face this global challenge together, the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation is committing $10 million to help our teams and communities around the world https://t.co/xcEpyLqJFD pic.twitter.com/Oj0VHCzX1W— Ralph Lauren (@RalphLauren) March 26, 2020
“At the heart of our company, there has always been a spirit of togetherness that inspires our creativity, our confidence and most importantly our support for one another. In the past weeks and months, that spirit has never wavered,” Lauren, who started out in the industry selling ties, said in a statement. “We believe that no matter who you are or where you are from, we are all connected. That is why we are taking significant action to help our teams and communities through this crisis.”
The hefty amount will be split to serve different causes, including the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, a global effort supporting countries to prevent, detect and respond to the pandemic. Lauren’s foundation is also building on its 20-year cancer care through its Pink Pony Fund by supporting its longstanding international network of cancer institutions that are caring for patients with cancer, who are particularly vulnerable at this time. Another recipient is the Council of Fashion Designers of America / Vogue Fashion Fund for COVID-19 relief. The foundation’s “inaugural gift” will help back the American designers and brands economically hit by the pandemic. Plus, a portion of the money will assist Ralph Lauren employees with special circumstances. The Emergency Assistance Foundation will offer aid to those who have medical, childcare and eldercare needs, for example.
The Ralph Lauren Corporation is starting the production of 250,000 masks and 25,000 isolation gowns with our U.S. manufacturing partners to support the fight against COVID-19 https://t.co/xcEpyLqJFD pic.twitter.com/jrCRx8SwSc— Ralph Lauren (@RalphLauren) March 26, 2020
In addition to the generous donation, the luxury fashion house founded over 50 years ago is producing medical-grade protective material with the help of its US manufacturing partners. The brand has vowed to make 250,000 face masks and 25,000 isolation gowns for healthcare workers on the frontlines.