From necessity to luxury: The evolution of face coverings during COVID-19
Great British Designer Face Coverings, June 2020
As the pandemic unfolded at the start of 2020, many countries experienced extreme strain on their healthcare systems and associated supply chains. Having been hit first within Europe, Italy responded by numerous fashion manufacturers converting their production to produce Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), including disposable gowns and face masks.
As COVID-19 spread across Europe in early April, several fashion brands in England shifted production to assist with the procurement and manufacture of PPE scrubs and masks. Within the UK, these companies included Burberry, Barbour, Turnbull & Asser, Sunspel and Private White V.C.
Simultaneously, companies began to produce non-PPE face masks for the public to purchase, with some using the opportunity to either raise money for charity through the sale of masks or to donate a set amount to a specific charity. By the end of 2020, as face coverings had become an everyday purchase, most companies (with a few notable exceptions) had stopped raising money for charity, even if they continued to sell face coverings.