Barbour and Louis Vuitton switch from luxury fashion to producing PPE

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Luxury fashion houses Louis Vuitton and Barbour are the latest brands to join the battle against COVID-19 by using their factories and workshops to produce protective gowns and masks for medical workers.

Barbour has been working with the Royal Victorian Infirmary in Newcastle to produce navy blue disposable gowns for NHS workers at its factory in Jarrow, South Tyneside.

The garments are sent out to hospitals in the North East in branded packaging with the Royal seal of approval.

Deputy Director of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead gave a shout out to the brand on social media, saying: “Much excitement at receipt of our first batch of ‘by royal appointment’ gowns from @Barbour – thank you so much, we especially love the proper Barbour cuffs!”

Barbour now intends to scale up its production for frontline medical staff at the RVI and other North East NHS trusts.

The Barbour factory was previously used to make military garments during both World Wars.

Company chairman, Dame Margaret Barbour, said: “Everyone has a role to play in fighting COVID-19 and I wanted my daughter Helen and I to play our part by turning our South Shields factory over to produce PPE product for the NHS.”

Louis Vuitton has also repurposed several of its ateliers across France into production facilities for face masks and gowns for health workers.

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