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The fashion industry has felt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic at every level of its business, with charitable and legislative plans to support brands, retailers, designers, and employees that have been affected by the crisis emerging slowly but surely over the past two weeks.

Thursay, Ralph Lauren announced a major donation that provides serious support to his employees as well as global relief efforts. His Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation set out a plan to give $10 million to four charitable organizations. Conglomerates like Kering and LVMH have donated millions of euros in cash in addition to producing masks and other equipment for European health authoritie. Lauren’s, meanwhile, is the largest amount given in a single donation of any fashion company so far, and the kind of meaningful, major statement that many in the American fashion community have been waiting for.

“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,” Lauren, who serves as executive chairman and chief creative officer, said in a press release. “In the past weeks and months, that spirit has never wavered.”

In the release, Lauren outlined a plan to split the money between four major organizations, with the goal of providing relief to his own employees, support for global efforts to fight the spread of coronavirus, and financial assistance to American designers. The first organization is the Emergency Assistance Foundation, an American nonprofit that creates employee relief funds, and which will provide grants to help employees of Lauren’s corporation to assist with medical care or the care of family members. Sums will also go to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, and Ralph Lauren’s Pink Pony Fun for cancer research.

Lastly, $1 million dollars of the donation will go to A Common Thread, the initiative launched earlier this week by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue to support designers and those behind-the-scenes who have been impacted by the coronavirus.

The company’s release added that it is also exploring the production of medical-grade masks, gowns, and other personal protective equipment. As GQ reported yesterday, fashion designers’ production of much-needed masks has been riddled with roadblocks and red tape. Leadership from an organization of Lauren’s size could make the manufacturing of those supplies far more effective.



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