Covid-19: Mandatory masks a boon for Annah Stretton's fashion label

Melissa Reid
21 Aug , 2021

A New Zealand fashion designer is experiencing an influx in mask orders 24-hours after the Government announced that face masks must be worn when accessing essential services.

Annah Stretton’s Clothing Company in Morrinsville is already sending out 5000 masks a day.

While order numbers are still 50 per cent behind where they were last year, Stretton’s expecting orders to pick up.

“Thursday started off even stronger. I don’t think we’ve reached our peak yet,” Stretton told Stuff.

But when they do, Stretton’s ready.

The company stockpiled 60,000 masks late last year, after 10-full time staff were making 30,000 face masks every day in August 2020.

In four months, Stretton sold 300,000 masks to people over New Zealand and Australia.

“I thought I overcommitted, but now I’m glad I stockpiled,” Stretton said.

“I just kept them, we had no idea when it would stop and start. I was optimistic we wouldn’t be back here, but we were on a train, and it was important to keep going.”

The Government announced on Wednesday that face masks are mandatory when accessing essential services.
The Government announced on Wednesday that face masks are mandatory when accessing essential services. CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

Mask orders at the clothing company remained open into 2021, as Stretton’s team continued to redesign and remake masks.

“We need to make a sustainable and pretty statement along the way,” she said.

“Let’s not let disposable masks replace plastic bags.”

Masks are flying out the door once again at Annah Stretton's Clothing Company.
Masks are flying out the door once again at Annah Stretton's Clothing Company. CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

Stretton’s masks are selling in packs of three for $20 and are being sent to customers all over the country.

The 100 per cent cotton masks are reusable and washable. There are masks for children and customers can decide if they want the elastic to go right around the head.

Stretton changed to making masks before the 2020 lockdown when a charity asked for 6000 face masks in fabric. She saw the opportunity to generate revenue for her business and since then, business has really taken off.

“I’ve always been open to opportunities and I always feel like my glass is half full.”

20th August, 2021

Original article by Stuff NZ

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