Zalando starts selling “non-medical” face masks despite public backlash

Zalando has become the latest fashion retailer to begin selling face masks to “people to protect others around them and preserve medical masks for health care professionals”.

The online fashion giant said a range of “non-medical” face masks starting from just €1 will now be available to purchase across all 17 of its markets.

All profits from face mask sales will be donated to international medical charity Humedica, which is working to fight the spread of COVID-19 across the world.

READ MORE: Boohoo branded “despicable” for launching range of “useless” fashion face masks

The masks are sourced through Zalando’s private label production and brands within its wholesale business.

Last week Boohoo also started selling branded face masks, but was met with a public backlash for “marketing face masks as a fashion item”.

Boohoo took flack from both workers’ unions and the public on social media, with USDAW general secretary Paddy Lillis saying: “Selling fashion clothing is not essential in a period of national emergency, but selling items that look like essential equipment is downright scandalous.”

Zalando’s sustainability director Kate Heiny said: “We believe that everyone should have access to a mask. Providing affordable textile masks will help people to protect others around them and preserve medical masks for health care professionals.

“We are very pleased to donate the profit generated from the sales of the textile masks to international efforts against the coronavirus via Humedica. Thanks to its worldwide network of partners, Humedica is able to support directly on site with food packages, protective equipment, education and many other measures in countries in dire need.”

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