Potters Bar business turns fashion factories into mask manufacturers to help tackle PPE shortage
- Credit: Archant
Two Potters Bar businesswomen have turned their fashion factories into mask manufacturers for key workers as a way of “making a difference”.
Sisters Natalie Reynolds and Lexi Panayi own online clothing store Style Cheat, and have repurposed their Potters Bar factory – as well as others internationally – to make and distribute medical grade masks in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Style Cheat has launched its ‘Let’s Mask Together’ campaign, which allows shoppers to add mask donations to their baskets, and for every personal mask bought by customers, a mask is added to the donations by the company.
Natalie told the WHTimes: “We wanted to make a difference. We were thinking of what we could to do help.
“We own factories so we thought we’d try to turn them around and see what we can produce and what people need.
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For every KN95 mask sold on the clothing site, a medical grade mask is donated. They are also in the process of producing washable fabric masks from leftover materials use to make garments.
The women have received requests for masks from postal workers and care homes via the campaign’s email address, and are urging and key workers to get in touch in the same way.
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Last week they had around 5,000 orders and are currently going through them.
Lexi added: “If people are in need and can’t get masks we would encourage them to email us via their business accounts. Other people are here to help.
“Customers who may be stuck at home can do something to help by buying a mask or donating.
“We’ve come from background of manufacturing, we have factories in China, Russia and Romania, and we felt like a lot of events and celebrations have been cancelled so not many people will be buying new clothes at the moment.
“We wanted to make a difference and repurpose our factories into making much–needed PPE.
Natalie and Lexi have also teamed up with friend and colleague Luisa Zissman from Cuffley who supports the charity, Outreach Moldova. Customers also have the option of donating 10 or 50 masks to frontline workers in the European country.
For more information, go to stylecheat.com/pages/together