The South African fashion industry is developing, by initiating mask manufacturing, to meet the needs of those living under lockdown conditions. Milliner Crystal Birch, for example, produces a range of fabric face masks, as well as protective shield visors with transparent panels covering the eyes, nose and mouth. Similarly, Sandy Rogers, a designer at the Victoria Yards in Johannesburg, is making face masks on behalf of Goodbye Malaria, who donates them to the Solidarity Fund and to Nando’s, in order to protect its workers.
Polo South Africa recently pledged to provide 250,000 face masks which are being provided to at-risk commuters and essential-service providers. Polo is using its shirt factory in Atlantis, Cape Town, to generate these cotton masks. Like the others, they are not medical grade but they are washable and reusable and can help prevent people spreading infection and from touching their noses and mouths in the course of travel.
The Watermelon Social Club and Klipa Denim are producing face masks for staff , customers and, hopefully, hospital personnel in the future. In a joint partnership with designers Isabel de Villiers and Jacques Bam, ERRE Fashion, a local luxury brand, manufactures a variety of masks and produces scrubs for nurses.