Zara’s parent Inditex has been doing some heavy lifting on behalf of the Spanish government, shipping and handling some 457 million euros worth of scrubs and personal protective equipment to the country’s hospitals — for free — in addition to donating tens of millions of euros to fight COVID-19.
Although Inditex has declined to comment, sources close to the company have confirmed widespread Spanish newspaper reports detailing the clothing giant’s efforts. Expeditious shipping and logistics are among the biggest challenges that Spain and other European governments have had to tackle during the COVID-19 crisis.
Indeed, the U.K. was forced to wait for days for a flight from Turkey carrying protective equipment for health workers. The plane arrived earlier this week, but only with part of the full, 84-ton shipment, including 400,000 clinical gowns. The situation in the U.K. is so desperate right now that some doctors are having to make their own scrubs at home.
Earlier this month, Zara reconfirmed that it is supporting its suppliers during the coronavirus crisis by ensuring that all orders that have been produced, or are currently in production, are completely paid, “according to the original payment terms,” the company said.
Inditex, which owns Zara and a host of other retailers, added that it is committed to working with its suppliers “through the impacts of COVID-19. As a priority, we are working closely with suppliers to ensure they are following official guidance to protect the health of workers in factories during the pandemic. And, consequently, we are fulfilling all our responsibilities to our suppliers.”
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