While the world sees coronavirus as an evil that needs to be eradicated, for some money-grubbing opportunists, it is a way to capitalize and make pennies off the pandemic. We have seen some extremely insensitive brand campaigns selling coronavirus necklaces and a face mask worth 70 grands that were called out for making money off a horrible situation, but every day there is a new low. Recently, the China-Dandong Fashion Week held in China’s northeastern province of Liaoning showcased PPE suits on the ramp walk, featuring the ‘latest trends’ in the protective gear category. Last I checked, survival hazmat suits are anything but fashion and we don’t ever want to see them again once we are done with the global crisis.
The ramp saw an array of personal protective suits including that of firemen, cleaning and decorative staff, apart from the corona warriors and health professionals. The suits are claimed to be refashioned into being more antistatic and resistant to wear than before. “We improved the materials and fibres. Although the new suits are thicker, their permeability and comfort level is much higher than the old ones. Doctors wearing them won’t sweat as much. They are safer and more comfortable,” said Yu Wenfu, Spokesperson, Medical equipment producer. But a fashion show? We don’t get the point.
Watch the fashion show here.
The models walked the ramp in the PPE suits that featured different materials, colours and cuts. The props used were face shield, eye masks and even a bouquet of roses, which was weird. Showcasing the PPE suits on the catwalk with That’s weird because I didn’t know PPE kits could be fashion items that would have their own trends. And, here I was thinking if they could just keep us safe from containing the virus, that would be more than enough. But China’s textile and fashion industry clearly thinks differently.
Since the beginning of the outbreak and spread of coronavirus, China has been on close watch by several nations struggling to cope with the virus. There were all kinds of conspiracy theories and assumptions regarding how the virus started, and we still don’t have a concrete answer. However, the Chinese government being secretive about the cases and exporting faulty PPE kits made the situation fishy. Even a Chinese virologist claimed that it was man-made which fuelled further rumours. Plus, Chinese manufacturers have been accused to duping PPE suits and exporting defective kits. Around US$ 70 billion worth of protective gear was supposed to exported by China of which most kits were found faulty and ineffective by the medical experts of Spain, Turkey, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Britain and India.
After exporting Coronavirus to the world, China holds a ‘fashion show’ of PPE kits notorious for being faultyhttps://t.co/4WUmIpxHN8
— OpIndia.com (@OpIndia_com) December 9, 2020
The fashion show displaying new and improved PPE suits wasn’t taken well by the twitter clan and was deemed insensitive. A user wrote, “Is China really celebrating the Coronavirus like this? Do they think this Virus is some sort of Festival? I cannot believe this…”. Another user wrote, “This is so totally shameless. I mean really….a catwalk of models in PPE suits. What message are they trying to convey. People want to junk these PPE suits ASAP and not look at it again. A user also commented, It’s a disgrace to hardworking healthcare professionals, trivialising of their hard work.”
Branding PPE suits as fashionable clothing and introducing new trends for the survival gear is more nonsensical than insensitive. It is not something you’d want to look good in and certainly not something you’d want to remember. They are medical protective equipment; let’s not make it fashion.