PARIS, France — In an unprecendented move, LVMH will start making disinfectant gel at French facilities that currently produce perfume and cosmetics for brands including Guerlain, Christian Dior and Givenchy, the luxury conglomerate announced Sunday. The diversion is an effort to help combat the risk of disinfectant gel shortages, used to make hand sanitizer, as France steps up its efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The luxury conglomerate will start making large quantities of hydroalcoholic gel on Monday. The gel will then be donated to the French health authorities and the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris.
The announcement comes as France puts into place extreme measures to try and halt the rise in infection rates, following Italy in closing all non-essential shops and services. According to the World Health Organisation’s latest situation report, published Saturday morning, France had recorded more than 3,600 confirmed cases of the virus and 79 deaths. The number of infected people in Italy now exceeds 17,600.
The rapidly escalating crisis is putting immense stress on health systems and supplies of basic items like hand sanitiser and disinfectant gel, with private companies stepping in to help in a way rarely seen outside of wartime. But few fashion companies are as well placed to step in as LVMH, as many others don’t have control over their supply chains. Elsewhere, brands have made sizeable donations to try and support efforts to combat the spread of the virus.
Disclosure: LVMH is part of a group of investors who, together, hold a minority interest in The Business of Fashion. All investors have signed shareholder’s documentation guaranteeing BoF’s complete editorial independence.