How Italy's big business and fashion houses are helping in the country's fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Made in Italy brand continues to respond to the country's Covid-19 emergency with generosity and ingenuity, donating enormous sums of cash and putting its factories at the disposal of the national effort.
Italy's national commissioner for the Coronavirus emergency Domenico Arcuri has announced that 180 companies from the country's fashion sector have united to create supply chains producing two million masks a day, reports Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano.
Here is how Made in Italy has been helping in recent weeks.
Fashion designer Giorgio Armani has already donated a total of about €2 million to hospitals in Milan, Rome, Bergamo, Piacenza and Versilia, and to Italy's civil protection agency. However on 26 March Armani announced that he is converting all production at his Italian factories to manufacture single-use medical overalls. "As a young man I wanted to be a doctor", said Armani, who thanked Italy's healthcare workers for their work.
The owners of the family-owned confectionery maker Ferrero, famous for Nutella, have donated €10 million to the Italian government’s national emergency commission to fight the Coronavirus, reports Italian news agency ANSA.
The Agnelli family, which controls holding company Exor and its units Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Ferrari and CNH Industrial, has donated €10 million to Italy's civil protection authorities, reports ANSA. The Agnelli family has also been studying the possibility of helping in the production of the assisted-breathing equipment so desperately needed by the country's hospitals. The Bologna-based Siare Engineering has been in talks with Fiat Chrysler (FCA), Ferrari and Italian parts maker Marelli regarding the production and assembly of parts for respirators and ventilators.
Luxury fashion house Gucci is set to make 1.1 million face masks and 55,000 pairs of hospital gowns, upon approval from Italian medical authorities, according to Business Insider, which also reports that Gucci has donated €1 million to the Protezione Civile.
Luxury fashion house Valentino founders Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti announced on 26 March that they would donate €1 million to the Columbus Covid-2 hospital, a new facility dedicated to the care of patients with Covid-19, located at the Agostino Gemelli University Hospital in Rome.
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Luxury sportswear brand Moncler contributed €10 million to authorities in Lombardy, the region hardest hit by the Coronavirus, for the ongoing construction of a new hospital facility with 400 intensive care units, located on the site of the Fiera Milano exhibition pavilion.
The world's largest pasta company, Parma-based Barilla, has donated more than €2 million to be shared between the Maggiore hospital in Parma, the local civil protection authorities and the Parma Red Cross.
Italian pharmaceutical giant Menarini, owned by billionaire Massimiliana Landini Aleotti and her three children, has converted its factory in Florence to produce disinfectant gel for hospitals. The company is providing Italian hospitals with "at least five tons" of gel a week, for free, according to Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.
Dolce & Gabbana
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of the fashion giant Dolce & Gabbana have made an undisclosed donation to Humanitas University in Milan, to aid research into the immune system’s response to Covid-19.
Luxury watch and jewellery company Bulgari has made "a major donation" to the Spallanzani Institute in Rome, the capital's specialist centre for treating infectious diseases, for the purchase of a state-of-the-art 3D high definition microscope. Bulgari is collaborating with its fragrance manufacturer and partner, the Lodi-based Industrie Cosmetiche Riunite, to make 6,000 bottles of hand sanitiser a day, to be donated to medical facilities and the Italian government.
Luxury fashion house Prada has converted its Perugia-based factory into assembling 80,000 hospital gowns and 110,000 masks. Prada CEOs Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada have also reportedly donated two intensive care and resuscitation units each to the Vittore Buzzi, Sacco and S. Raffaele hospitals in Milan.
Prato-based car upholstery company Dreoni Giovanna company has converted part of its factory for the production of 2,000 medical masks per day, to give to healthcare professionals, according to Il Sole 24 Ore.
The Benetton family’s investment arm, Edizione Srl, has donated a total of €3 million to four hospitals: Foncello in Treviso, Luigi Sacco in Milano, and the Spallanzani and Gemelli in Rome, according to Italian news agency Adnkronos.
Spirits maker Campari Group announced a donation of about €1 million to the Fatebenefratelli Sacco group of hospitals in Milan, according to Forbes.
Media tycoon and three-time Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has given €10 million to the Lombardy region, to be used in the construction of a 400-bed intensive care unit at the Fiera di Milano complex, or, if needed, for other emergencies.
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