“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”
– Mr. Rogers
During World War II automotive factories and upholsters retooled to manufacture supplies for the military. Fast forward 80 years and the fashion and auto industries are taking center stage, once again proving that government does not hold all the answers when it comes to combating matters of historical consequence. Private industry and the companies that comprise investment portfolios are nimble enough to undertake a mass change in production the likes of which would deadlock our leaders in Washington.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the European luxury giant, and L’Oreal and Coty, the beauty conglomerates will use their facilities to produce hand sanitizer for hospitals. In Spain, Inditex, the parent company of Zara, is looking into refitting its textile factories to make hospital gowns. Domestically, General Motors is retooling its shuttered production lines to make ventilators and other in-demand medical equipment.
And who doesn’t remember Christian Siriano Project Runway’s youngest winner who moved on to dress ‘A’ list celebrities for the red carpet. Siriano answered New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call to action for creativity to help the medical community. Within a day Siriano had a prototype of a mask awaiting production approval.
Zoom and Adobe are providing resources for free so that kids can continue learning while at home. Giant, Whole Foods, Target, and Dollar General and Safeway have all created “senior-only” shopping hours for those most at risk from COVID-19.
Across our country and the world, titans of industry, large and small are rolling up its sleeves to do the right thing and find solutions to bring order back to the world.
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