Fashion + The Global Crisis

Coronavirus: are we being told the truth?

COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus, began in Wuhan, China in 2019. It is believed that the virus originated in an animal food market which sells both dead and live animals – posing a high risk of people catching diseases. From beginning as an epidemic to now being a pandemic, almost 1 million people have contracted the virus with the death total being much less – around 50,000 (at the time of writing). The news, and the government, give us daily updates on the facts and statistics and tell us which direction the country’s heading towards.

But, as we all know, the problems it has caused are not just related to people’s health. We are now in a period of lockdown where we are only allowed outdoors for essential shopping or daily exercise, whilst implementing social distancing of a minimum of 2 metres. The economy has been struck hard too including the fashion industry taking a nose-dive; perhaps sending us into the first recession of the decade.

Distrust in officials and the media

Where you are from will directly affect your views on the government and the media. If you are from China, you might believe that the government and media tried to distort your views, as the Chinese government has been widely criticised over their attempts to hide the outbreak of COVID-19 in its early stages.

Personally, I trust our government and media as they’ve kept us updated daily on what’s going on and are willing to answer our questions to the best of their abilities. But some news sources are not as reliable as others – some tabloids, such as The Sun, publish articles more for entertainment purposes than for information. This makes me cautious of where I gather my information from as I do not want to be reading fake news in such a scary time – some news outlets could be trying to scaremonger the public so be careful you don’t fall into that category!

If you don’t feel comfortable trusting the government and the media, then you are not alone. Megyn Kelly, one of the most famous journalists in America, tweeted, “I’m so frustrated right now … that we can’t trust the media to tell us the truth without inflaming it to hurt Trump … that Trump has misled so many times we no longer know when to trust his word … that even I as a journalist am not sure where to turn for real info on COVID.” 

Most fake news is being shared on social media platforms, such as Facebook, and through private chats. To be vigilant in avoiding fake news on these platforms, make sure you check what the source of the information is. BBC is quite a reliable source to refer to, but is a source called Gummy Post reliable? No. 

It is really a personal choice whether you think the facts are being distorted or not, but ask yourself this – why would the government and media lie to us over the virus?

The fashion industry being infected

The $2.4 trillion fashion industry has had its own crises to face during the pandemic.

The Milan Fashion Week, held from the 18th to the 24th March, was affected badly when coronavirus reached Italy. Attendees tested positive for coronavirus; cancelled their trips, and some designers, including Giorgio Armani, cancelled their runway shows. This isn’t the only fashion week which has been affected: the 25th anniversary of Australia Fashion Week has been cancelled and New York’s Bridal Fashion Week will be going virtual.

Where is the fashion central of the USA? New York. They too are now on a lockdown which has forced employees to work from home – from PR companies to fashion houses closing their doors. It doesn’t end there. Photoshoots have been postponed for the foreseeable future; press talks have been cancelled and deliveries have been delayed so products can’t be completed. 

But, let’s not forget about high-street shops. With the lockdowns in place, worldwide, the industry is losing money at a rapid pace. Urban Outfitters, Ralph Lauren, H&M and Nike are just a few examples of companies which have temporarily closed. If you don’t know who Capri Holdings is, they own Versace, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors. They alone have predicted a $100 million (approximately £80,000,000) decrease in profits for this quarter. So just imagine what the rest of the brands are facing!

Many European fashion businesses have products manufactured in China which has halted for the time being. Yet, amongst all of the unknowns, many brands have chosen to go digital in their attempts to keep afloat, but they will still undoubtedly miss their profit margins. This is only beneficial, really, to the big businesses – the small ones will suffer the most. They have got to consider the financial side of paying employees, paying bills, and incoming orders whilst they’re facing this hardship.

Once life resumes to normal, the fashion industry will recover. The question is when will that be?

How YOU can help

On the 7th April, it was World Health Day, but this year it had a twist. An event called ‘United We Stream’ took place where United Ways Worldwide, United Nations Foundation and Comic Relief came together to raise both money and awareness for coronavirus. 

The hashtag on social media called #HopeFromHome was used to link together everyone’s participation. Entertainers, influencers, streamers and the public all got involved with the fundraising. Not long ago, if you did not know, a similar project was started, by a Youtuber called Mr Beast, where people got together to raise $20 million for Team Trees – every dollar meant a tree was planted. If we can smash that project, then we can definitely smash this too! Here is the donation link: https://tiltify.com/united-way/hopefromhome

Below is a link of a youtuber called Jacksepticeye who will tell you more in detail about how you can get involved in ‘United We Stream’ and what it is all about.

By Jessica Jackson

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