THE CORONA EFFECT: active solidarity, reactions, and prevention

16 April 2020

While Covid-19 is leading us to rethink our priorities through virtuous exemplarity and a new form of creativity in action, Interfilière Paris wants to take stock of the “Corona Effect” and highlight textile and fashion professionals’ engagement in active solidarity that will help us all build the future together.

“To handle this unprecedented crisis, total solidarity amongst us all is crucial. I salute the initiatives of these small fashion firms…who are making masks for the health and protection of French citizens. Together, we’ll get through this crisis, with a unified France.”
Ms. Muriel Pénicaud, Labor Minister.


Indeed, as we can see throughout France’s industrial base, solidarity initiatives are proliferating among fashion and textile firms. Thus, many brands, suppliers, and garment factories are taking action to manufacture “barrier” * masks and scrubs. Today, over 200 firms and 3000 employees have volunteered to work on these ventures. France Industrie is centralizing initiatives coming from the industrial sector and is communicating details on them; then, the government registers them, and deals with specific needs. Companies who wish to offer their services are invited to obtain further details at Source: FRANCE INDUSTRIE

“Nearly 300 prototypes have been developed and offered to the DGA (Direction générale de l’armement – Directorate-General for Armament). More than 45 firms have had their prototypes accepted and are producing masks for the general public and for professionals outside of health-care use. Over 100 textile firms and 200 garment factories are already involved, now elevating the total productive capacity to nearly 800 000 surgical masks per day.” Yves Dubief, President of the Union of Textile Industries, in the official press release.

These include lingerie brands Chantelle CL studio, Empreinte, Maison Lejaby and many others, who, after protecting their staff, have reoriented their work toward the assembly of “barrier” masks. The Eminence brand is working in collaboration with the Paris-based Hall Couture organization to manufacture 6000 masks that will be distributed to firefighters. Likewise, swimwear brand Pain de Sucre is offering a tutorial on how to make your own mask at home, and French textile supplier Rocle by Isabella is upcycling its deadstock as part of a similar effort. Contract manufacturers are also taking part through redistribution; such is the case of the Lemahieu company, which is contributing 10% of its sales proceeds to the Fondation du Nord, to support their #desmasquesennord. initiative. This association is centralizing the needs of health care facilities, looking for volunteers to sew masks for health care workers, and is following a specific design brief established by the Lille University Hospital Center.

Mutual assistance is also happening on an international scale, because partner firms from countries that are less impacted are sharing patterns and are ready and willing to send masks to their clients and colleagues who are still under lockdown.


The contribution of key design firms is also notable; they’re sharing their expert knowledge, archives, and services, which are normally reserved exclusively for their clients. In this vein, Concepts Paris has just published its #homeleisure trends for all to see, and Nelly Rodi has taken a similar initiative by making their insights available on their website on an exceptional basis.

And let’s not forget the brands that are offering creative tools and sharing their expert knowledge and archives. Kenzo, and their artistic director Felipe Oliveira Baptista, are providing a weekly schedule of events on Instagram: on Mondays, they offer a playlist, on Wednesdays at 6 p.m., it’s an artistic workshop in collaboration with an artist, and on Fridays, a live concert.

And finally, each week, Alexander McQueen holds a drawing contest, McQueen Creators, inviting anyone to re-design a look that was initially created by current artistic director Sarah Burton. Once selected, the best illustrations are posted on the brand’s social media accounts to highlight all the unknown talents out there!

“In times of crisis, we are forced to become more creative to find solutions to new problems. The positive side of this is that this type of environment can generate innovations.”
Robin Meason, Director, Ritual Projects media agency

Some brands are showing their commitment to staying connected to their communities, while making a positive impact. Such is the case of Etam, Livy, and Ysé Paris, as well as pajama brand Brai Paris, who have placed a piece from their collections up for auction on the Instagram we give collab account, specially created in March to support the APHP (Assistance Paris- Hôpitaux publics – Paris Social Welfare and Public Hospital) Foundation, to whom the proceeds will be donated.

“Stay connected – Interfilière Paris” is launching a series of articles related to total sustainability (Innovation – Raw materials – Social Impact – Redistribution), in order to help you adapt to what’s happening and reflect on what type of industry we want to rebuild together.

Remember that innovation is one of the keys to success, and this active solidarity reaffirms the fact that sustainability is also socially beneficial.

We can’t hug you, but let’s be sure we all stick together through this!

*“Barrier” masks are for non-medical use and are an ideal adjunct to other protective actions…

Aude Penouty
Entada Textile

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