Fashion Brands Are Letting WHO Take Over Their Instagrams

Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.
In addition to large-scale contributions to COVID-19 relief organizations, Gucci and H&M are now donating their social media accounts to world health organizations in need of bigger, more influential platforms with larger reach.
Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) will take over Gucci’s Instagram — which boasts 40 million followers — as well as the brand’s other social media channels. During the takeover, WHO will share official public service information, including methods for protecting the health, safety, and well-being of the global community, Dazed reports. “This pandemic calls us to an unexpected task, but it is a call to which we respond decisively, advocating the selfless work carried out by health workers, doctors, and nurses on the front lines every day in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Creative Director Alessandro Michele wrote in a letter co-signed by Gucci’s President and CEO Marco Bizzarri.
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Similarly, H&M freed up its accounts for any organization looking to utilize its global social media reach of 120 million people. “The current situation is affecting each and every one of us, and like many other organizations, we are doing our best to help,” says Sara Spännar, Head of Marketing and Communication at H&M. “Opening up our social media channels and letting aid organizations utilize our reach is one way we can contribute.” The brand has 35.1 million followers on Instagram, 8.3 million followers on Twitter account, and more on each country’s individual platforms.
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We Are All in This Together. Gucci stands with its global community to fight the #Covid19 pandemic by making two separate donations to crowdfunding campaigns. Locally, in Italy where the company is based, a 1 million euros donation to the Italian Civil Protection Department #DipartimentoProtezioneCivile in partnership with @intesasanpaolo’s #ForFunding platform to reinforce Italy’s health services and to source new ICU beds. Globally, Gucci donated 1 million euros to the United Nations Foundation’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the World Health Organization @who through Facebook’s US$10 million Matching Fundraiser to monitor and collect data on the spread of the virus to strengthen ICUs across the world, supply protection equipment to health personnel and fast-track the creation of vaccines and therapies. The initiatives are captured in an original illustration gifted by Rome-based artist @mp5art, a person who holds their hand on their heart a message of human solidarity. “Gucci has created a world, open and free: a Gucci global community. We ask all of you to be the changemakers in this crisis, to stand together with us in the fight against the Coronavirus. We are all in this together,” say @alessandro_michele, Creative Director of Gucci, and #MarcoBizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci. Calling on our #GucciCommunity to join with us, give through our Donate Sticker on Stories to the United Nations Foundation’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the World Health Organization @who, and on gucci.forfunding.it to donate to the Italian Civil Protection Department #DipartimentoProtezioneCivile. Discover more about the crowdfunding campaigns through link in bio. Starting from tomorrow, Gucci’s social channels will feature the official messages of @who to help spread useful information and prevention for the virus. #StaySafe #FlattenTheCurve

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Earlier this week, Kering Group, the parent company to Gucci, Balenciaga, and Saint Laurent, announced plans to purchase and donate three million surgical-grade face masks from a CDC-approved manufacturer in China. Kering’s donation will go directly to the French health service. Gucci, on its own, will temporarily halt production on fashion to instead produce one million face masks and 55,000 medical gowns for hospitals around its home country of Italy. The Milan-based label also announced a donation of 2 million euros to help fight the effects of COVID-19. 
A week prior, Stockholm-based fashion brand H&M pledged $500,000 USD to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, a reserve established to aid in the World Health Organization’s efforts to “track and understand the spread of the virus, ensure patients get the care they need, frontline workers get essential supplies and information, and accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments,” according to H&M’s website. The brand will also begin producing PPE products to be distributed to healthcare workers and hospitals worldwide. 
Keep an eye out for instructions on both of the brands’ social media platforms to see how you too can aid in coronavirus relief efforts. 
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the Public Health Agency of Canada website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.

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