European brands shift production toward hand sanitizer

In an effort to bolster the safety and well-being of both healthcare workers and the general public amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, European brands across the fashion, beauty, and alcohol sectors are pivoting their manufacturing operations to assist in the much-needed production of hand sanitizer. However, the following brands aren’t selling the product—they’re working with charitable organizations and health authorities to send the gels and sanitizers to local hospitals, charities, and communities, all of which are facing shortages.


LVMH, the largest luxury goods conglomerate in the world, announced its intention to use the systems and resources that would typically be involved in manufacturing cosmetics and perfumes for brands such as Dior to instead produce hydroalcoholic gel—hand sanitizer—as the Covid-19 outbreak continues to grow. All of LVMH’s production facilities for perfumes and cosmetics have been temporarily altered to meet this goal of manufacturing mass quantities of hand sanitizer that will in turn be distributed to the French health authorities, for free. The Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Paris will then distribute the gel amongst hospitals to help fight the spread of the virus.


Much like LVMH, L'Oréal Group, a world leader in beauty production, will pivot to manufacturing hydroalcoholic gel and hand sanitizer (to be delivered, free-of-charge, to hospitals, pharmacies, and care homes) in an effort to ease the shortage across Europe. Unwilling to stop there, the corporation is also postponing debt collection for small and mid-sized businesses that owe it money, as well as working with business partners who are already hard-hit to develop payment plans on a case-by-case basis. What’s more, L'Oréal Group’s charitable arm is donating one million euros to non-profit organizations that are already trying to mitigate the devastation the pandemic is bringing upon vulnerable populations.


Scottish beer company BrewDog is pivoting its distillery output toward manufacturing its own hand sanitizer and gel products, which are aptly named BrewDog Punk Sanitizer, in the wake of the pandemic. Instead of selling the products online, the brewery (like LVMH and L'Oréal Group) is sending its sanitizers to local charities across the UK. So far the brewery has packed and donated over 50,000 units of its Punk Sanitizer to the NHS and local charities, and BrewDog has even had to pack small beer bottles with sanitizer when it's run out of standard packaging.