The outbreak of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, caught the world by surprise, leaving little time for suppliers of medical supplies, like N95 masks and gloves, to produce enough supplies to catch up with the increased demand for them.
The shortage of these items has hit healthcare professionals, who are at the forefront of the fight against the virus, the hardest.
Many of the doctors, nurses and healthcare workers have been left vulnerable to contracting the disease while they treat affected patients.
In the midst of this, Alexis Williams, a Mississippi based entrepreneur and the founder of a local African and Hawaiian inspired boutique called Aloha Glamour, decided to step up to do something to help local healthcare workers.
Here’s how she does it:
As a response to the coronavirus outbreak, Alexis started selling reusable face masks with Ankara prints to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
She said in a statement, “My masks are 100% cotton, reversible, reusable and machine washable. My masks are not meant to replace surgical masks, but it is a contingency plan for those who don’t have the ability to get surgical masks because of the shortage. It is not medical-rated, but it is good enough to filter other hazardous particles and bad smells. The response to it has been overwhelming and we want to do anything we can to help out.”
The masks, though not N95 certified, provide a level of protection against the spread of the virus and keeps the wearers from touching their faces. For every mask sold, Williams will be donating a free one to local healthcare workers.
She encourages her customers to help provide masks for those on the frontline of the pandemic by making contributions so her business can provide face masks for someone in healthcare for free. Several of her customers have responded by donating to help in the effort.
Fashion designers in Africa and other parts of the world can take a cue form Alexis Williams to create their own versions of face masks and give back to society.
To see how the fashion industry is leveraging technology in order to keep going, click here.