fashion retailer H&M has said that it would use its manufacturing power to produce and provide hospitals and healthcare workers with protective gear. it comes amidst shortages following the global outbreak of COVID-19.


working the european union, H&M is trying to understand which countries need supplies more urgently whilst also trying to adapt its supply chain. the company said it would initially deliver to the countries that saw the greatest need, which could be inside or outside the EU.


H&M, has temporarily shut its stores in many of its markets due to the pandemic. it has suppliers around the globe, including mostly china and other asian countries such as india, bangladesh and vietnam. as of monday morning, it announced 3,441 of its 5,062 stores worldwide had been closed and that it might have to consider terminating employees ‘due to the negative impact of the corona situation on the business.’


‘the coronavirus is dramatically affecting each and every one of us, and H&M group is, like many other organizations, trying our best to help in this extraordinary situation,’ said anna gedda, head of sustainability H&M group said. ‘we see this is as a first step in our efforts to support in any way we can. we are all in this together, and have to approach this as collectively as possible.’


many countries have run short, of protective gear for health workers and of equipment crucial in the treatment of coronavirus. over the weekend, nurses in the UK revealed they were wearing bin bags, fashioned into body and footwear, in order to protect themselves.


in other news, designers are finding ways to support health systems and fill a shortage of ventilators with some taking to 3D printing. meanwhile, automakers tesla, GM and ford have pledged to convert some of its production to create ventilators where necessary.