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Covid-19: Mandatory hides a boon for Annah Stretton’s fashion brand

Orders arrive at Annah Stretton's Clothing Company in Morrinsville.

ANNAH STRETTON / SUPPLIED

Orders arrive at Annah Stretton’s Clothing Company in Morrinsville.

A New Zealand fashion designer is seeing an influx of mask orders 24 hours after the government announced that face masks must be worn to access essential services.

Annah Stretton’s clothing company in Morrinsville is already sending 5,000 masks a day.

While the number of orders is still 50% lower than last year, Stretton expects orders to pick up.

“Today [Thursday] started even stronger. I don’t think we’ve reached our peak yet, ”said Stretton Things.

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THINGS

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But when they do, Stretton is ready.

The company had 60,000 masks in stock at the end of last year, after 10 full-time employees were making 30,000 masks a day in August 2020.

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

“I thought I started too much, but now I’m glad I racked up,” Stretton said.

“I just kept them, we had no idea when it would end 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 to access essential services.

CHRISTEL YARDLEY / Tips

The government announced on Wednesday that face masks are mandatory to access essential services.

Orders for masks from the clothing company remained open until 2021, as Stretton’s team continued to redesign and remake masks.

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

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

Masks fly out the door of Annah Stretton's clothing company again.

CHRISTEL YARDLEY / Tips

Masks fly out the door of Annah Stretton’s clothing company again.

Stretton’s masks sell in sets of three for $ 14 and ship to customers across the country.

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

Stretton switched to making masks ahead of the 2020 lockdown when a charity requested 6,000 sheet masks. She saw the opportunity to generate income for her business and since then the business has really taken off.

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


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Hazel J. Edmonds

The author Hazel J. Edmonds

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