Australian activewear brand Lorna Jane has rebranded its new “anti-virus” clothing range ‘LJ Shield’ after a medical expert said the company was taking advantage of people’s fears over COVID-19.
Earlier in the month, Lorna Jane released its “exclusive technology” LJ Shield range, which touted the benefit of protecting consumers from germs and viruses.
The website said: “LJ Shield breaks through the membrane shell of bacteria or germs that come into contact with it, not only killing that microbe but preventing it from multiplying into anymore.”
However, yesterday morning the brand’s website no longer mentioned the word “virus” instead using the word “anti-bacterial”.
The spokesperson also said the brand started working on the LJ Shield technology at the start of the year when it was named ‘anti-virus’.
The said: “We are not trying to profiteer in any way on the fear around COVID-19 because we were developing this and working with our partners on this before the outbreak.”
The spokesperson added the testing shows LJ Shield is an “important part of stopping the spread of bacteria and viral infections” but should be “used in combination with … face masks and hand washing”.
However, leading doctor and president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Dr Harry Nespolon called out Lorna Jane for its false claims, imploring consumers to listen to health practitioners and not clothing brands.
He told the SMH: “Activewear is great for the gym but it can’t protect you against viruses or bacteria,” he said.
“I suspect Lorna Jane are cynically trying to exploit fears concerning the COVID-19 pandemic to sell clothes.
“If you spray their product onto any fabric and expect that it will act as a ‘shield of protection’ for you by breaking through the ‘membrane shell of any toxic diseases’, I have some bad news for you – this will not happen.
“The only thing that will be ‘terminated’ by the ‘shield particles’ is the money in your bank account.”
The Therapeutic Goods Administration also confirmed it was looking into whether the Lorna Jane range qualified as therapeutic goods.
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