Given the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on businesses, especially SMEs, AFI has partnered with AFI fashion designers to support the most vulnerable workers in this sector and assist the designers with business continuity.
The partnership will help fashion designers and their respective employees (i.e. seamstresses and patternmakers), and fabrics distributors, maintain employment by receiving payment for the production of needed public facemasks. Additionally, all production resources will be sourced from local suppliers.
The project commenced in April 2020, and production will continue depending on the demand and support from corporate South Africa and the general public, said Roshnee Pillay AFI Marketing Manager
The mask is produced in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Department of Trade and Industry. The mask is a 3-ply mask with double polyester fabric on the outside, and a mesh backing for moisture absorption, along with a filter. The design elements accommodate both adults and children, as the mask uses adjustable ties at the back.
Bulk purchases of the masks have been made available on the AFI online campaign
page. It is encouraged that corporates support this initiative and procure these general public masks for their employees, as well as their respective CSI initiatives such as youth care centres, elderly homes, schools, universities, crèches, or shelters.
Papy Kaluw from Urban Zulu said
“What motivated Urban Zulu and I personally is that the fashion industry is very much in need of being part of the interventions for our country. We can provide some of essential goods required to fight the pandemic which are the masks. For years we’ve pleaded for people to buy locally, and now that the country needs the masks it is an opportunity for us to bring in the change that has been spoken about. In addition, we as the textile industry and the fashion industry would also be contributing and doing something to aid the pandemic. My biggest motivation is to be the forefront and helping to minimize the spread of the disease for our country locally.”
NGO’s, who urgently require masks, are also listed on the campaign page for the public to make a donation to, and AFI will manage all deliveries to these NGO’s.
Considering sustainability – this mask is, reusable and washable, and maintenance directions are provided on the wash care label of the masks.