International charities giving vital support in 2020

Throughout 2020, there have been many incredible charities around the world that have carried out vital work to support those most in need. We’ve been inspired by their work and are proud to have played a small part in supporting their efforts.

Donations to support critical medical care

The Red Cross has supported people in times of crisis for 150 years, and 2020 was no exception. At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, we donated to the Red Cross to support the heroic efforts of the doctors, nurses and those working in Wuhan and Hubei communities.

In March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) started a COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, leading and coordinating the global effort to prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic. ellesse ran a global charity T shirt design competition, where the winning designs were sold via and all proceeds were donated to the WHO Fund.

Medicins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders) has been delivering medical services to some of the most vulnerable people at risk from the global pandemic, in areas that don’t normally have access to medics and healthcare. We supported the work of the charity with a donation to help their drive to protect vulnerable people and keep essential medical services going.

Products to those who need them

Our international brand teams have looked at ways to support charities with product donations. In the US, 2,000 Speedo goggles were donated to US hospital partners via the Swim Across America organisation. The team also donated a selection of toys to the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club for Christmas, as well as swimming products to support their sports programmes.

Additionally, SeaVees donated 500 pairs of shoes to US healthcare workers and offered care packages to nominated frontline workers in California.

Adapting supply chains

When our manufacturers came under pressure due to the impact of COVID-19 on retail, many used their capabilities to produce vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers. Speedo’s supplier of its world famous Fastskin in Portugal started manufacturing masks for public and healthcare professionals. Speedo also waived its exclusivity conditions for its goggle supplier in China, so it could manufacture PPE visors and protective goggles.

Many of our employees across the world also supported their local communities through volunteering, fundraising, or making PPE clothing and equipment.

We’d like to wish all the charities, employees and volunteers, that have selflessly dedicated their time to helping others this year, a happy and healthy festive season and all the best for 2021.