In Mario Ozuna’s workshop, the patterns of the shirts rest on the wall and the striped and checkered fabrics will have to wait to become clothing, because the protagonists of this collection are white cotton fabric and sheet kits. that a group of Paraguayan garment designers and designers have proposed to donate to hospitals before COVID-19.
The measures imposed by the quarantine due to the health coronavirus pandemic forced the textile sector to stop its production due to the lack of demand and the closure of stores.
But the designers behind the Paraguayan branch of Fashion Revolution, a global movement that advocates for a fairer and more transparent fashion industry, opted to temporarily transform their businesses to remain active.
These entrepreneurs work with workshops such as Mario Ozuna’s, in Asunción, which, in addition to making shirts, shapes the creations of the designers and now strives to give the latest stitching to these fitted sheet, counter top and pillowcase kits.
“Then I have knowledge of this, hospital clothing we always make too,” the workshop owner told Efe.
While Mario puts pins in the fabric and places it under the needle of the sewing machine, one of his assistants irons the finished sheets, waiting to be transferred to their destination.
Along with them, Denise Genit, owner of the clothing brand Oh! Si and one of the entrepreneurs who have joined this donation campaign, tests on a mattress how the sheets fit.
Genit recognized that it was “the need” that made them change the strategy and turn production into the sheets to dress the beds donated by another group of entrepreneurs, We Make Events Py, to the Hospital de Barrio, in Asunción.
“We realized that everyone was running out of work and the way to be able to help and be able to give work was this,” Genit explained to Efe.
From the Mario Ozuna workshop, the confection will move in the next few days to another one of the workshops with which the members of Fashion Revolution Paraguay work, and they will continue rotating so that everyone can contribute and have activity.
When the initiative emerged, the idea was to reach some 15 families of seamstresses, but Genit does not rule out that more people can benefit.
The objective is to deliver 300 sheet kits, of which 89 have already been donated, and that goal also requires the collaboration of citizens.
“All help is welcome,” as Genit pointed out, and through bank transfers or money orders they receive donations of any amount, although they also offer the possibility of paying for a kit, with a price of 79,000 guaraníes (about $ 12.20).
“We want to reach 300, so we want more people to help us share and help us with donations, because the idea of this is to be able to pay people,” said the young woman.
“It is not for profit, in any way, but to be able to pay all the people in the industry, laundries, delivery people, those who make … and to be able to give work and help at the same time,” he added.
WAIST TO BE TRANSFORMED
The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 200 people in Paraguay and eight have died, losses that are joined by the economic impact of the productive break, especially for small and medium-sized companies, which represent 97% of the Paraguayan business fabric, according to official data.
Faced with the crisis, many have had to reinvent themselves and find a way out of “a super-large crossroads” in which they have seen each other in a matter of weeks.
“But for something we are entrepreneurs, I think we have a little more waist to adapt as quickly as possible and the best possible,” said Genit with optimism.
Like her, Mario Ozuna maintains confidence, although “a little hurt” by “little production.”
“We look forward to the collaboration of the people to continue with this initiative and to be able to help hospitals and more clothing manufacturers,” said Ozuna, who has been allowed by sheet production to “maintain the workshop and pay some bills.”