Fashion and consumer spending on the upturn: the responsibility of Fashion in the time of Coronavirus
Pitti has been postponed until September, it’s a fact. And Claudio Merenzi underlines how this painful yet necessary choice in the fight against Covid–19 has left everyone unhappy. Some would have moved it up, while others say September is “too soon”. Italian fashion and its impacton the production system and on exports also then impact hard on GDP, especially when compared to other manufacturing sectors.
Yet on this occasion, Italian fashion in particular has given a good example in the context of Corporate Social Responsibility. There have been charitable donations and the reconversion of the entire production chain to create medical sanitary material, a choice made by Giorgio Armani, while small and large companies and manufacturers alike have taken part in the effort to support the Italian NHS, never lowering their guard and ensuring that the resources involved in the productive effort have the personal protective equipment they need.
So many small and large entrepreneurs are therefore engaged in reconversion to products that today, more than ever, meet the needs of the emergency, in particular in favour of doctors and paramedics, who are exposed to the risk of contagion on a daily basis. Among the big players, LVMH is certainly a case in point, allocating part of its production – based on the vocation of the individual Brands that make up the large group – to products useful to the health system: from disinfectant gels to gowns and masks.
And so the Social Responsibility of fashion companies has proven to be up to the leadership role that Fashion holds in Italian export and manufacturing. As does Fashion & Luxury which is not of Italian origin, but for which Italy is a “second home”. This isaccording to Toni Belloni, Bernard Arnault’s right-hand man – and General Manager of the LMVH group.
Fashion needs to look ahead to a new dimension post-coronavirus and be able to evaluate (despite the total absence of previous experience) the possibility of new developments and growth in the sector objectively. This – at a time when the supply chain has never stopped fulfilling its social role in supporting the fight against the epidemic and despite having repeatedly given signs of an urgent need to reform – is already positive.