As medics across the globe continue in their battle against Covid-19, and supplies continue to dwindle, the French government has put out a call for support in producing non-surgical masks — a call heeded by the world’s leading luxury fashion houses, including Louis Vuitton. As French manufacturing makes a gradual comeback after mass Covid-19 closures, Louis Vuiton has reopened its French workshops in Marsaz and Saint-Donat (Drôme), Saint-Pourçain (Allier), Ducey (Manche) and Sainte-Florence (Vendée). Three hundred artisans have voluntarily mobilised within these venues, as the production sites are repurposed to create alternative, non-surgical face masks to aid in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Approved by various governing bodies, the masks are created in collaboration with Mode Grand Ouest — a regional network of the textile industry, from whom Louis Vuitton is sourcing supplies for one of their key materials. The fashion house hopes to amp up their production scale to hit 100,000 face masks a week — these masks will be distributed to frontline healthcare workers, Louis Vuitton staff, as well as surrounding retirement and nursing homes.
Louis Vuitton’s Chairman and CEO Michael Burke formally kicked off the production process by paying a personal visit to the Sainte-Florence workshop, where 22 artisans have voluntarily stationed themselves. He was joined by Mrs. Correira, Director of the Marpa nursing home in Sainte-Florence, as well as Mr. Gaborieau, Director of the Saint-Vincent de Paul care home in Essarts Bocage. Both homes had been among those to receive the newly produced masks, and were there to greet and express appreciation towards the volunteers.
In the words of Michael Burke, “As an important French House, Louis Vuitton wishes to commit at its level to producing many thousands of masks that will be distributed within the region, at no charge, to protect those who are most exposed. This production is the fruit of a wonderful collaboration with the regional sector of the textile industry.”