Burberry have announced they will be donating to the world's largest vaccine buyer, UNICEF in a bid to help with the COVID-19 vaccine's production. Their efforts have come at a much-needed time during the pandemic, as despite there being light at the end of the tunnel (and a bright one at that) and multiple vaccines in full swing, the end being near and in sight needs to extend past the Western world. Burberry's move will help to ensure that millions of people from vulnerable communities worldwide will have equal access to the vaccines, making sure no one is left behind. The brand's donations will go towards the transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine along with its storage and safe administration in low-income countries.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the fashion industry has continued to work alongside the emergency services, supporting them through thick and thin as the disease we've come to know as 'the silent killer' has violently spread far and wide. Last March, designers including Holly Fulton, Phoebe English, and Bethany Williams helped to set up the Emergency Designer Network fund with the sole intent of supplying and helping with much-needed suitable fabrics. This came at a time when vital PPE and general practical and protective coverings massively lacked due to one of the UK government's many failures during the first wave of the pandemic. A short time after the EDN was formed, Burberry stepped in and made global headlines last April with their Burberry Foundation COVID-19 Community fund, announcing they were essentially swapping their trench coats for hospital gowns by leveraging their supply chain to make emergency deliveries of medical equipment, using their Yorkshire factories for manufacturing hospital gowns and masks for ill patients.
Wanting to make sure that everyone is offered the vaccine regardless of their financial circumstances or status, Burberry's CEO Marco Gobbetti said, 'We believe everybody should have equal access to the COVID-19 vaccine. UNICEF's COVID-19 Vaccines Appeal is helping provide it, protecting families and communities from the devastating impacts of the virus. We are proud to continue our support for the relief efforts by helping UNICEF in their mission to provide vital resources for vulnerable communities around the world.'
In addition to helping the widespread availability of the vaccine, Burberry also provided funding to support the development of the University of Oxford's AstraZeneca vaccine while also voluntarily choosing to donate to charities dedicated to tackling food poverty, meeting the most immediate medical and community needs.
Grateful for Burberry's ongoing support with COVID-19 relief, the executive director of the UK committee for UNICEF, Steven Waugh, commented, 'Burberry's support of UNICEF's COVID-19 Vaccines Appeal is critical to help ensure rapid and equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines – irrespective of a country's wealth.' He went on to clarify that, 'By supporting UNICEF, Burberry is helping the overall effort to procure and deliver two billion life-saving vaccines to all 190 countries participating in the COVAX Facility, including those already facing humanitarian challenges. Together, we can deliver the world's largest vaccination campaign, in record time, and build a brighter future for the world's children.'