Kim Kardashian has turned her business acumen to the healthcare crisis, launching a line of non-surgical face masks that go for US $8 a pop, or $25 for a bundle of four.
The face masks, launched through her shapewear brand SKIMS, sold out within a matter of hours. However, the reality TV star, mogul and burgeoning criminal justice expert promised more would be available soon.
Unfortunately our @skims face masks have sold out today but we’re working with our local partner in LA to produce more as quickly as possible. The next batch will be available next week – please sign up to receive more details coming soon, and thank you for your support.
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) May 16, 2020
According to the SKIMS website, the company will be donating 10,000 of the masks to organisations such as the LA Food Bank and the National Domestic Workers Alliance, in an effort to support COVID-19 relief and protect those most vulnerable.
SKIMS is hardly the first business to pivot to a new product during the coronavirus pandemic. Plenty of brands are now producing personal protective equipment (PPE) or hand sanitiser, to keep up with the skyrocketing demand.
However, some people have criticised Kardashian for attempting to profit from the crisis, when she herself is worth an estimated US $350 million.
“I knew this shit was gonna happen, but seeing it really fucking infuriates me,” the popular Instagram page The Guerrilla Feminist wrote. “The rich stay getting rich while the rest of us drown.”
The reusable masks are not surgical or N-95 grade masks, and will not protect people entirely from spreading or contracting COVID-19 entirely.
“Please note, while a mask can reduce exposure to dust, allergens, germs and bodily fluids, it is not a respirator and will not eliminate the risk of contracting disease or infection,” the product description reads.
They are designed to be worn in public where social distancing measures are hard to maintain, in line with guidance from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US.
“Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure,” the CDC website reads.