Here's everything we know about the company's new mission.
UPDATE (March 19, 2020 2:10 p.m.): According to reporting from the Financial Times, LVMH is set to donate 12 metric tons (that's 26,455 pounds) of hand sanitizer across Paris's 39 public hospitals "by the end of this week." The Times also reports that the company will be adding two new production lines from its Givenchy factory in l'Oise and its Guerlain factory near Chartres. An LVMH representative confirmed to Allure that the company has actually already produced 15 metric tons of sanitizer and expects to produce 50 metric tons next week.
This post was originally published on March 16, 2020 11:53 a.m.:
As governments and businesses around the world continue efforts to prevent the continued spread of the new coronavirus, LVMH is doing its part by manufacturing "hydroalcoholic gel," which it will distribute for free to public health officials in Paris. The corporation responsible for luxury fashion and cosmetics brands such as Marc Jacobs, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton is preparing its production sites to create "substantial quantities" of the gel — or hand sanitizer — under the instruction of chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault.
According to a statement from LVMH, the company will use all of its French facilities dedicated to fragrance and cosmetics production to make the disinfecting gel starting Monday, March 16. More specifically, it will use the facilities where fragrances for Dior, Guerlain, and Givenchy are manufactured.
Beginning Monday, the gel will also be distributed free of charge to the Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, a medical treatment and education system including 39 public hospitals that serve Paris and the surrounding areas.
An official shortage of hand-sanitizer has yet to hit Paris, but as The Guardian reports, French health officials say their supplies are "strained" due to high demand.
LVMH will continue to produce its own disinfecting gel for "as long as necessary," according to a company statement. There's no clear definition of what the company deems "necessary," or if and how this new means of production will affect its fragrance manufacturing. The company is only delivering its hand sanitizer to health officials in France for the time being. LVMH representatives declined to comment further.
LVMH products are primarily produced in France, so it's unlikely the brand will distribute its sanitizing gel in the U.S. Still, there are plenty of Stateside corporations that might take the company's actions as inspiration to do the same.