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H&M opens up global supply chain to produce PPE for hospitals worldwide

Lauretta Roberts
23 March 2020

H&M has opened up its global supply chain, including its widespread purchasing operations and logistics capabilities, to produce and deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals worldwide during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

The Swedish-based global fashion giant said its supply chain teams around the world were now collectively supporting in these initial efforts to support countries and communities worldwide.

H&M said it had reached out to the EU to understand the needs and to offer the company’s help. It is understood the most urgent shortage was for protective masks, but that surgical gowns and gloves were also needed.

"The Coronavirus is dramatically affecting each and every one of us, and H&M Group is, like many other organisations, trying our best to help in this extraordinary situation. 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,” said H&M CEO head of sustainability Anna Gedda.

Many of H&M's global stores, including all of those in the UK, are on temporary shut-down during the pandemic, though it has started re-opening stores in China as that country begins to get back on its feet.

Last week Spanish giant Inditex, parent of Zara and Massimo Dutti among others, offered to make hospital garments for hospitals in its home country, while Mango also donated two million masks.

In France, global luxury giants LVMH and Kering have donated masks to French healthcare providers, while LVMH has also turned over some its if perfume-making facilities to the production of hand sanitiser which is it supplying to French hospitals for free.

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