May 13 2020 - 13:03
Back

Lebanese designers fight coronavirus with fashion face masks

Beirut-based designer Bokja specializes in making upholstered furniture Lebanon, news ,lbci ,أخبار Fashion, Health, Style, Beauty, Coronavirus, Masks,Lebanon,Beirut-based designer Bokja specializes in making upholstered furniture
episodes
Lebanese designers fight coronavirus with fashion face masks
Lebanon News
Beirut-based designer Bokja specializes in making upholstered furniture with vintage fabric but the studio's workers now dedicate their time to sewing colourful silk face masks to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

Profits from the masks, costing about $35, go to nurses on the front line of Lebanon's fight against the disease, which has compounded woes in a country wrestling with economic meltdown.
advertisement

The business is one of several that have converted production of items like furniture and clothing to masks. Co-founder Huda Baroudi said nurses have even ordered some.

"They help boost morale" Baroudi added .

Lebanon has been under lockdown since mid-March to curb an outbreak that has infected 859 people and killed 26. Authorities are warning of a new wave after cases surged in recent days, as the government eased some curbs and allowed businesses to reopen.

Safety rules at supermarkets, pharmacies and shops require people to wear masks.

Although the high-end store and atelier were closed, staff received sewing machines and textiles to work from home.

Beirut residents like Mustafa Ali have welcomed the colorful masks. He said traders and pharmacies hiked the prices of medical masks, so he sought a reusable option. "I wear a color based on my mood," he said through a green mask.

Other businesses have also begun to make masks, a rare opportunity as the pandemic hammers the collapsing economy. The local currency has plummeted and unemployment, inflation, and poverty have soared since last year.

Eric Mathieu Ritter, founder of Emergency Room up-cycled clothes design company, began sewing face masks for his family.

Ritter said he sought to keep mask prices affordable, but still enough to pay his employees. They sell for around $5 based on the parallel market rate.
 
 
 
 
REUTERS
 
 
 
 
Read also