MILAN — In its latest effort to fight the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Gucci, on behalf of its employees, is supporting UNICEF’s global and equitable vaccine delivery efforts by donating up to 200,000 COVID-19 vaccines.
“From Day One of this pandemic — even before COVID-19 was technically defined as a pandemic — we said, with no hesitation, that only science would help us emerge from the darkness,” said Marco Bizzarri, president and chief executive officer of Gucci. “And we made a clear commitment with these words: we are all in this together. Now, after almost two years, we believe in this affirmation, more than ever — if vaccines aren’t available to all, the pandemic will never truly end. This is why we created an internal initiative in which the entire company — all 20,000 of us at Gucci, united as one — will donate 200,000 COVID-19 vaccine kits to UNICEF, strengthening our support in ensuring that vaccines are equitably procured and distributed to the most vulnerable communities around the world.”
Inequities in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines put the global community at risk as, according to the World Health Organization, about 3.6 billion people have been vaccinated with at least one dose, accounting for approximately 45 percent of the world’s population.
Gucci has collaborated with UNICEF since 2005 and, to date, through contributions gathered globally, the Italian fashion group has helped the organization in procuring and delivering 600 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to 144 countries; delivering more than 609,000 COVID-19 RT-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and antigen rapid diagnostic (AgRDTs) tests to 55 countries and conducting risk communication and community engagement activities throughout 88 countries.
In December 2020, Gucci donated $500,000 to UNICEF USA, with an additional $100,000 on behalf of the Gucci Community, to make sure that the COVID-19 vaccine would be available to the most vulnerable communities around the world, supporting logistics to forecast demand, the preparation of cold chains and the advance purchasing of supplies.
Among some of its initiatives at the time, the company offered test kits helping to stop community transmission; purchased tens of thousands of vaccine fridges; provided millions of items of personal protective equipment to keep health care workers safe, and contributed to the cost of transfer of the vaccines.
The donation followed the “We Are All in This Together” call to action launched by Gucci in March last year, pledging 2 million euros to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The brand made two separate donations to crowdfunding campaigns: 1 million euros were donated to the Italian Civil Protection Department (Protezione Civile) in partnership with Intesa Sanpaolo, while the other 1 million euros was channeled to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the World Health Organization, through a matching campaign with Facebook.
Partnering with UNICEF, during the 2005-15 decade, Gucci supported Schools for Africa, training more than 8,700 teachers and educators, building nearly 300 school classrooms, supplying 14,600 school desks and creating more than 1,800 water and sanitation facilities in schools.
Gucci is also founding member of UNICEF’s Girls’ Empowerment Initiative.