2 Vincentian Fashion Designers have collaborated to produce a line of reusable cloth face masks for the public, to aid in the prevention of the spread of the Covid-19 virus – Christal Oliver – Founder of emerging fashion and accessory brand Olive Art and Kimya Glasgow – Founder and Creative Director of fashion and lifestyle brand Kimya Glasgow.
The US Center for Disease Control “recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies”.
According to Ms Glasgow, after seeing on the news that internationally medical grade masks were becoming scarce, there was a concern that this could eventually become an issue in St Vincent & the Grenadines as well. She reached out to fellow fashion designers and manufacturers to coordinate and prepare an effort to produce masks.
“As always, Christal responded enthusiastically and by working as a team, with a local manufacturer, in each of our work spaces, we have been able to produce and supply in quantities that we could not have done on our own. We have been able to donate some of the masks to some front-line workers as well.” says Ms Glasgow
Patterns, raw material purchasing, cutting, finishing, sales and distribution were handled by Ms Glasgow; cutting and assembly were handled by Ms Oliver and they received additional support with patterns, cutting and assembly from local manufacturer Mrs. Flor Spence.
“The masks are contoured and lined and produced in several sizes to ensure proper fit to the face to prevent readjustment and possible self-infection. The most important thing is to wear masks to protect each other, not just ourselves’, says Ms Glasgow.
Ms Oliver urges persons to “Remain focused, listen to credible sources, follow the guidelines.”
The demand for masks continues and there are even calls for masks outside of SVG, as the demand for masks will be around for a while. As this is a challenging time for the garment and fashion sector in the region and beyond, it offers a lifeline to many fashion, sewing and handicraft businesses.
Ms Glasgow further commented “I am a big believer in coming together to do great things, especially now that the international fashion industry is changing before our very eyes, global brands will have to find new partnerships and change business models to be successful during and after this pandemic, so small Caribbean brands may well take a page from that book and revisit the way we do business.”
Ms Oliver offered additional advice for this unusual time for Creative people, “Try to find ways to maintain mental health, find ways and means to remain creative, because really and truly we should not stop producing at this time, even though it is a challenge, we should still be at least shooting ideas, jotting down things, making your drawings and at least producing prototypes of products to come, as there will come a day when we will be shining again. Don’t let that day come and you’re not ready.”