Fashion retailers make donations after earthquake in Turkey and Syria
Like after the Russian invasion of Ukraine a year ago, clothing companies are mobilising to help those in Turkey and Syria affected by the earthquake of February 6. To date, the earthquake has caused the death of more than 33,000 people in the two countries, where several fashion brands are established and source their products from local manufacturers. Here is a non-exhaustive overview of the actions taken.
Sports giant Decathlon's first priority was to ensure that its 2,400 employees in Turkey "were safe and sound, and to give them all the support they needed. Three of our 42 shops in the country have been seriously impacted by this disaster."
Decathlon employees in Turkey collected and sent materials to the affected areas, including warm clothing and winter equipment, amounting to one million euros. In addition, Decathlon says it has set up a €1 million solidarity fund managed by the King Baudouin Foundation to support NGOs in the area. The chain's employees around the world are invited to contribute if they wish.
The Spanish group Inditex, owner of Zara, Bershka, Stradivarius and more, has announced that it has donated 3 million euros to the Turkish Red Crescent, "to support humanitarian aid efforts following the earthquake". With the support of its local producers it also provided 500,000 items of outdoor clothing to this NGO as well as AFAD, a Turkish body under the Ministry of Interior specialised in earthquake management. Turkey is one of the main markets where the group sources its near-imports.
Its competitor, the Swedish group H&M, which works with a hundred or so Turkish manufacturers, has also donated warm clothing and decided to provide financial aid of 930,000 euros to AFAD, while the H&M Foundation has given 468,000 euros to the Red Crescent and Save the Children associations.
The Scandinavian group has also ensured the safety of its teams, as has the Iberian chain Mango, which says that only one of its 1,300 Turkish employees is in hospital. The chain is well established in Turkey, with 70 shops, some of which are located in the most affected regions, in Kahramanmaraş and Gaziantep for example. Mango's "social action" department has started "sending clothes to the various areas affected by the earthquakes", and donated 150,000 euros to the Red Crescent.
American giant Amazon is encouraging its customers to make donations via its website, particularly in France, Germany and Spain, to the Red Cross and the Red Crescent. It also claims to have provided financial support to local NGOs (around 468,000 euros) and to have used its logistics to send blankets, tents, heaters, food, nappies, baby food and medicines to the disaster areas. "The first two trucks full of relief items donated by Amazon left the company's distribution centre in Istanbul on Tuesday February 7 for Hatay province," said the American group, which employs 2,000 people in Turkey, all safe and sound.
On the luxury side, the luxury group Kering, owner of Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga among others, issued a statement to support the affected populations and announced its intention - as well as those of all its companies - to make a financial donation, although the amount was not disclosed. Louis Vuitton said that the funds already available through its partnership with UNICEF would be made available immediately to help families in Turkey and Syria. Finally, the Italian group OTB, owner of brands such as Diesel and Marni says it is providing support through the OTB Foundation, which has already been supporting the UNHCR (United Nations refugee agency) for several years.
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