Given free to hospitals in France
LVMH, the parent company of such luxury brands as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, announced last week that all of the production facilities in its perfume and cosmetics division have switched from making luxury fragrances to hand sanitiser.
Sales of the disinfectant gel have dramatically increased all over the world in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. LVMH says it will manufacture hand sanitiser to help prevent the risk of a shortage in France, where the company is headquartered, and distribute it for free to the national health authorities. Parisian hospitals will be the priority initially.
In a statement, LVMH said, “Given the risk of shortage of hydroalcoholic gel in France, Bernard Arnault [chairman and chief executive] has instructed the LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics business to prepare its production sites to manufacture substantial quantities of hydroalcoholic gel to be provided to public authorities.”
LVMH added that it will continue to honour this commitment “for as long as necessary.” Like many countries, France has seen a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, and has introduced stricter measures to slow down the spread of the virus.
According to the Financial Times newspaper in the UK, LVMH will deliver 12 tonnes of hand sanitiser to 39 Parisian hospitals by the end of its first week. It added that cosmetics manufacturing is a close cousin of pharmacy, with factory equipment quickly repurposed and all of the key ingredients for making the gel – purified water, ethanol and glycerine – onsite.