How Ford And The Fashion Industry Are Helping Fight COVID-19
Marcy Fisher Innovates At Ford Motor Company to Help Fight COVID-19
By Riti Singh
Ford Motor Company is a global leader when it comes to business innovation and manufacturing and, like many large companies during the COVID outbreak, has taken the time to give back and contribute to those most in need, such as front-line workers. And, the leader of Ford’s new plan of action? One of the top women leaders and directors in the automobile industry, Marcy Fisher.
Fisher has 38 years of manufacturing experience in the automobile industry. In addition to her core responsibilities, Fisher has been active in multiple aspects of people development at Ford Motor Company. She has served as co-chair of the vehicle operations diversity council, as a board member of the Ford Design Institute and as co-chair of vehicle operations’ Ford College Graduate Program. Fisher has also worked as a mentor in the Manufacturing Leadership Program, and is a member of the personnel development committee. She has been twice named to the 100 Leading Women in the Automotive Industry list.
Ford has decided to help in the process of making face masks, and Fisher is helping lead the project. One of the hardest challenges she faced was the small elastic band that secures a plastic face shield to a medical worker’s head.
Fisher’s solution to such an industry shortage was to repurpose the flexible rubber tubing or weather strips that normally seal car doors and windows to replace the elastic.
When they sent samples to a nearby emergency room for doctors to test, the response was ecstatic. “It’s completely innovative, and it totally works,” said Erin Brennan, an emergency physician at a Detroit hospital, who tested the face shields.
As of this month, Ford is manufacturing 1 million face shields per week. Now Fisher’s team is tackling a battery-powered, air-purifying respirator, which represents an area of “unmet need” in which Ford has “a lot of engineering depth,” Fisher says. It is amazing to see the amazing women emerging in order to fight this virus.
How the Fashion Industry is Fighting COVID-19
By Julia French and Kiki Montgomery
COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has flipped our normal day to day lives upside down. Our country, along with many others, have hospitals filling to capacity and are lacking the essential equipment, such as surgical gloves and N95 face masks, needed to cure the patients who are infected.
Several fashion and beauty companies are coming together and using their brand to fight off COVID-19. These companies, big and small, are committed to ending the spread of this disease, through providing assistance to those who need it, creating masks and gloves, or a combination of both.
The infamous Italian brand Gucci, is providing 1,100,000 surgical masks and 55,000 medical overalls to hospitals all over the world. The brand is also planning on giving donations to campaigns that are supporting relief efforts of the spread, such as The Italian Civil Protection Department and the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. They also made their own hashtag, #GucciCommunity, which is asking for their followers to make a donation to the WHO’s initiative, along with sharing the need for social distance. With such a massive social media and fashion platform, Gucci wants to use their voice in order to help end COVID-19 and end the spread.
Another brand that is helping is Ralph Lauren. The American lifestyle brand is giving $10 million, the biggest donation from a top fashion brand thus far, to relief efforts for the virus. The grant, similar to Gucci’s, will go to the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which is an Emergency Assistance Foundation. The foundation’s Pink Pony Fund supports international cancer institutions for certain networks. The company has also started production on 250,000 face masks and 25,000 isolation gowns for health care workers that are incapable of obtaining them right now. Along with that, they have given an undisclosed amount to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in order to help fashion designers that have been brutally hit by the economic downfall. “We believe that no matter who you are or where you are from, we are all connected,” said Ralph Lauren. “That is why we are taking significant action to help our teams and communities through this crisis.” Vogue Magazine’s Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour wrote about the moment that Ralph Lauren called her to tell her about his donation. She said, “My emotions, like yours I’m sure, are fairly close to the surface, but I’m not afraid to admit that I broke down on the phone with Ralph when he called to give me the incredible news about his gift.”