It’s no news that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many sectors in the world, including the fashion sector. From the numeorus fashion shows like the Milan Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week that have had to be cancelled, to fashion stores closing in different countries, the adverse effects this pandemic has had on the fashion industry cannot be overstated.
Sales are also dropping drastically, because of the lockdown and social distancing rule in many areas which restricts customers from moving arond. Online meetings and conferences are steadily becoming the norm.
Also, now more than ever, the need for Personal Protective Equipment, popularly known as PPE is on the rise, some of which include gloves, surgical coveralls, and face masks. Fashion brands like Aloha Glamour, Zara, Balenciaga, Gucci and other popular brands have now taken to producing these equipments, especially face masks, to contribute to the medical society.
Questions have been raised, however, on the potency of the face masks being manufactured by these fashion brands. As May Yang, who is the founder of Lidia May, a leather fashion brand pointed out, “Making masks for medical workers is a far more complex process than sewing a piece of fashion outfit”.
The N95 masks, which are recommended by medical experts, are protective masks that filters out harmful airborne particles and prevent us from breathing them in, and they must be in the right size for people to achieve well-sealed protection against airborne pollutants. So, at this point, it’s not enough that fashion brands are making face masks for health professionals, but the face masks need to have a perfect seal.
In addition to the numerous brands that are lending a helping hand to fight the current pandemic, the famous fashion brand, Chanel recently announced that they would be producing face masks for medical professionals in France. They have already produced prototypes and samples to be approved by the French government before they start producing in bulk quantities.
Dior, one of the fashion labels owned by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), has also started producing face masks for workers that have to continue working despite the pandemic. Supermarket workers and transport workers in France are also some of the targets for the face masks to be produced.
Fashion designers in Nigeria and Africa at large can also lend a helping hand in their communities by producing face masks to reduce the shortage.