How is the Fashion World Helping in the Fight Against COVID-19?

Exploring the "New Normal" of the Fashion Industry

How is the Fashion World Helping in the Fight Against COVID-19?

The fashion industry is among the sectors greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Brick and mortar brands selling clothing, accessories, and handbags are experiencing a decline in sales as the world is drawn to a halt by the virus. Clothing designer Remi Landau shares on this blog how the fashion industry is making moves to keep businesses running.

From making clothes, handbags, shoes, and accessories, fashion brands are shifting to designing and manufacturing face masks. This move not only saves their business but also answers another global challenge: shortages of face masks. The health care industry has expressed the need for additional masks and other personal protective equipment as the number of COVID-19 cases rises worldwide, mentions Remi Landau. According to the CDC, non-medical workers can use simple cloth masks to prevent the spread of the virus, saving the medical-grade masks to front line workers. 

At first, clothing designers and makers intended to help supply medical workers with PPE. However, the CDC released a recommendation that everyone must wear masks in public, urging fashion designers to shift from making PPEs to face masks. The situation proved to be a win-win for small businesses during these troubling times. While the masks they make are not deemed as replacements for N95 masks, they get the basic job done.  Some medical workers opt to wear a sewn mask over their N95 mask to preserve it longer, says Remi Landau.

Clothing brand American Giant halted its production of the “greatest hoodie ever made” as it pivots to making HHS-certified medical masks. The brand has repurposed its facilities in North Carolina and retrained its team of seamstresses to develop the masks.  Birdwell, a California-based surf-apparel brand, shifted its production to manufacture masks for individuals serving on the front line. Aside from producing masks, the brand also helps a non-profit organization for its masks and other needs until COVID-19 testing is no longer required. 

Good American, a women’s denim brand, has successfully produced 10,000 non-medical masks. The brand is selling the masks on its website for $5. According to Remi Landau, Good American will donate a mask to partner communities and local businesses for every purchase on its website. Katie May, a bridal designer, makes fancy masks that range from $19 to $45. Even with masks made with sequins, crepe fabric, and lace, the straps are adjustable. 

As a fashion designer in New York, Remi Landau draws upon her cumulative work experience in the fashion industry as well as her regular attendance at New York Fashion Week. She is interested in social wear and nightlife clothing. For more insightful reads on fashion, visit this blog.