Every month, we like to share work from around the world that inspires us. However, with COVID-19 impacting people and brands worldwide, we’ve switched up the format a bit this month. We’re still reporting on great experiences but with a focus on brands adapting to the current situation.
To stay afloat during the epidemic, bookshops in China have found creative ways to serve customers. Yanjiyou stores have been delivering books via a food delivery app as well as livestreaming book recommendations, panel discussions and readings. 1200 Bookshop offers a ‘book surprise’ service where customers send the store a WeChat message on how they feel and concerns and staff will then pick a book to send them based on their mood. The industry has also published a ‘self-preservation’ plan for Chinese bookstores on WeChat filled with tips from handling employee salaries to producing online content during quarantine.
With health services facing shortages of medical equipment, multiple industries are pitching in to help. In Italy, printing start-up Isinnova 3D-printed valves for ventilators to combat a shortage at a local hospital. In the UK, Vauxhall and Airbus plan to manufacture ventilator equipment. Luxury groups are donating surgical masks as well as preparing to make them in their own factories. It’s great to see so many brands and designers joining efforts to help in any way they can during this difficult time.
In light of the Hong Kong show’s cancellation, Art Basel launched online ‘Viewing Rooms’ to showcase work from exhibitors. Over 2,000 pieces were placed on display and could be viewed worldwide via the website or app. After clicking on a ‘room’, an explanation of the exhibit pops up before letting users browse the artworks, many framed in a gallery setting. Exhibiting galleries could be contacted directly for sales inquiries.
Like LVMH, BrewDog has started manufacturing hand sanitiser in its facilities to help with shortages. The brand’s co-founder, James Watt, took to Twitter to announce its ‘Punk Sanitiser’, clarifying that it would not be sold but distributed where needed. The brand also began offering drive-thrus and click and collect services from their bars for those social distancing.
Both big chain and independent supermarkets across the world introduced shopping hours exclusively for the elderly, disabled and healthcare workers to help ensure they get the items they need amidst the panic-buying. In Australia, Woolworths also put together care packages containing everyday essentials that vulnerable customers could pick up from the customer service desk.
These are unprecedented times for everyone but it’s been great to see so many brands adapting to the situation. The brands we mentioned in this article are only a fraction of those doing what they can to help, whether it’s through offering helpful services, providing indoor entertainment, or manufacturing important medical supplies.