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Australian brands raise capital for COVID-hit India


Australian fashion and homewares retailers with suppliers in India are raising money and donating to charities, as the country faces a catastrophic surge of coronavirus cases.

Online clothing and homewares store Sage and Clare has already raised $10,000 of a $15,000 target by selling its popular bathmats. The sales will go toward Give India’s funding for families of those who have died from COVID-19.

India is currently experiencing the world’s biggest surge in coronavirus infections, which has seen 10 million cases recorded in the space of four months. However, due to the country’s testing capabilities, experts believe the number is at least five times higher.

Emily Wright, founder of Melbourne-based leathergoods and clothing brand Nancybird, says the situation is devastating.Nancybird works closely with five manufacturers in India, which are a mix of non-profit collective, Fair Trade certified workshops and larger makers.During India’s 10-week lockdown last year all of Nancybird’s suppliers closed their factories. Wright says this time a couple of her manufacturers have closed but surprisingly, some of them are still able to be open albeit with restrictions.

Olli Ela, a sustainable clothing, toys and homewares brand, is showing its support by donating to charities and continuing to manufacture with them despite the disruptions.The retailer has also donated $5,000 to Help India Breathe.