It's been more than six months since COVID-19 has plagued our planet. What started in China has taken over the entire world, shifting our entire lives indoors. With each passing day, the death toll and the number of positive cases are rising, especially in countries like India, the US, and parts of Europe. There is a shortage of protective face masks for civilian use as well as in hospitals across the world. Citizens are going through a tough time--emotionally, physically, mentally and financially.
Amid the global crisis, it is the need of the hour to stand together and contribute in any way possible. Celebrities from different industries are doing their bit by donating to various NGOs and government initiatives to help sail through the pandemic. Recently, luxury brand Louis Vuitton announced to repurpose some of its workshops to help fight the spread of the virus by making face masks and hospital gowns in bulk. And now, it is a matter of courage and much applause, that the Indian industry has taken charge of the situation and are helping those who need it the most right now.
Let's give it up for some Indian fashion brands that are contributing to the fight against COVID-19. Scroll to find out which brands are these and how wonderfully they are doing their bit. Let's go #VocalForLocal together by supporting them in this time of need.
Masaba Gupta started an initiative 'Maskaba', where the brand is making non-surgical reusable masks from cloth that was meant for designing their garments. Earlier this month, the designer had gifted some of these masks to some "incredible police officers in appreciation for their selfless service." Besides such donations, the brand is also retailing these masks online. In addition, on every purchase of these masks, one will be donated to charity.
Operating out of their production unit in Gurugram, Ritu Kumar is producing precautionary masks and has already disseminated 1,500 such masks (cotton masks which are washable and reusable) to the residents of slums in Haryana. "With a total of 1500 masks already delivered, our goal is to boost production so as to finish and hand over 50,000 masks at the earliest," announced the designer on Instagram.
Ever since the lockdown was announced, Anita Dongre too wanted to contribute meaningfully to safety efforts amidst the current pandemic. "Twenty-four of our women employees from two of our community tailoring units in Charoti and Dhanevari have offered their services in creating protective face masks to meet the needs of the community at large," she wrote on Instagram, assuring that all hygiene measures and social distancing norms are being followed at the facilities. "These community tailoring units are a part of Anita Dongre Foundation’s larger efforts to provide employment to rural communities," the post further said. These masks will be reusable.
They will also be producing special disposable masks for doctors, nurses and medical staff at the request of local hospitals in the area.
Earlier in March, announcing medical support for small scale vendors and self-employed artisans, Anita Dongre Foundation also set up a dedicated fund of Rs 1.5 crore "to support any medical treatments arising during these troubling times."
Together with Kresha Bajaj, Papa Don't Preach by Shubhika has started the #CareForKarigars initiative to support karigars, their families, and communities in these tough times. For this, Kresha has designed a limited edition cape while Shubhika is offering their bestselling belt bag--each at a flat price of Rs 5,000. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these items will be donated to the karigars. One purchase can help provide food, ration, basic medical and sanitation supplies for a family of 4-5 members through this joint initiative.
Eka has already distributed 1,000 face masks that are made from fabric scraps and are 100% natural, washable and reusable to the district administration for the underprivileged. Their aim is to continue to send across approximately 300-500 such masks each week. "We have been officially cleared by the district municipal corporation to operate under stringent rules of social distancing. Of course, all other operations have come to a halt for the time being," wrote Rina Singh, founder and designer.
The Delhi-based Lovebirds has also pledged to contribute without adding to the fashion waste the industry is infamous for. The sustainable fashion brand is donating reusable masks made from their waste fabrics that are 100% cotton on request. They have already donated 3,000 such masks "to the Chattarpur SDM, giving back to our immediate community to start with". And there's no stopping them. What's more? Lovebirds has started shipping their online orders with a giveaway matching mask, promoting masks as a way of lifestyle in a world hit by COVID-19.
Delhi based designer Nitya Bajaj, before announcing paid leave for her staff on March 21, got them to collect waste scraps from their Daisy signature print and "handcrafted mouth masks to donate to staff members, workers around the area and children on the streets". "Seeing them in all smiles in our bright and beautiful Daisy masks, we hoped to see healthy happy days," wrote the designer before announcing that these masks are free of charge and the brand won't be charging shipping on the same when they resume functioning.
Designer duo Shyamal & Bhumika, with help from their small tailoring team, distributed over 25,000 face masks to the local authorities to slow the spread of COVID-19 in India. They were among the first ones from the Indian fashion industry to initiate a helping hand in the wake of this unprecedented challenge.
Karleo started the #MaskForHumanity project, under which they are making reusable masks for BMC workers, police officers, and other frontline warriors. Their staff involved in the project is working from the safety of their homes as announced by the brand on Instagram. For this, they are reusing fabrics from their old collections, thereby leading the concept of sustainability by example.
Shruti Sancheti supplied 5,000 masks to the Delhi Police Force by joining hands with the FDCI's #MaskIndia initiative. Sharing the video above, the brand showed how it's "ensuring safety in everything that we do. Shruti Sancheti follows the strictest hygiene guidelines while delivering our face masks to you."
Besides making donations to Dharma Bharti Mission to raise funds for daily wage labourers, Limerick has also created 3,000 reusable face masks for the healthcare officials of Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai. Their four-layered face masks have been made while paying due consideration to the COVID-19 safety standards. The masks have been made using multiple layers of germ-resistant filters that would be providing protection from over 90% germs and microbes.
Last but not least, FabAlley has pledged to donate 2,000 non-surgical protective face masks to Vyomini, a social enterprise that is working towards the safety of migrant labourers and slum clusters in Delhi NCR, through Covid-19. Furthermore, the brand has tied up with BigBasket, Nykaa and Myntra to retail these masks online in the time of need. "Face masks have become an essential part of our new reality. As a brand, our design philosophy has always focussed on relevance, amalgamating customers' needs with trends and designs," say co-founders Tanvi Malik & Shivani Poddar.
We're proud of how these local fashion brands have decided to take things in their hands and make a difference. After all, we're in this together.
Featured Image: Instagram