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Mask-making project will benefit Bay health workers

A Baby Cuddles seamstress sews masks. For each one bought through the Community Conservation Funds Africa website, one will be donated to Livingstone Hospital
HELPING OUT: A Baby Cuddles seamstress sews masks. For each one bought through the Community Conservation Funds Africa website, one will be donated to Livingstone Hospital
Image: Supplied

Port Elizabeth non-profit company Community Conservation Funds Africa (CCFA) has launched a programme geared at making face masks more fun and accessible during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the tourism industry devastated by the national lockdown and little hope the industry will pick up any time soon, CCFA has partnered with Baby Cuddles, a Western Cape company that designs and produces animal mascots for CCFA, to make masks for sale and to donate.

Since the lockdown, the team of seamstresses working at Baby Cuddles in Kylemore, have had to adapt and change their core business.

CCFA executive director Di Luden said the group of six women had to adapt to making masks rather than soft toys aimed at tourists.

Luden said for every mask purchased, one would be donated to Livingstone Hospital.

Following the department of health guidelines for making masks, Baby Cuddles uses the same Shweshwe cotton used for the mascots, and an alternative washed-denim look, to make the three-layer masks.

Melanie Laing of Baby Cuddles said: “I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to work with a team of very talented, wonderful women who are always happy and full of smiles, no matter what life throws at them.

“This time life threw them a pandemic but, as with so many South Africans, we have turned this situation around and are now making mascots into masks.” 

With the demand for masks increasing since government regulations were introduced making it mandatory to wear them at all times, Baby Cuddles offers masks in four sizes, including  men’s, women’s, teenagers and children.

Face masks made from Shweshwe fabric by Baby Cuddles in partnership with Community Conservation Funds Africa
LOOKING GOOD: Face masks made from Shweshwe fabric by Baby Cuddles in partnership with Community Conservation Funds Africa
Image: Supplied

Laing said there would be three seamstresses sewing for the project — herself and two other women working from home — with the aim of making at least 600 masks a week.

“The work will bring in an income to help fund and assist all nine of us in the company and our families during this Covid-19 crisis,” Laing said.

Luden said orders for the masks, which cost R50 each, could be placed on its website with the orders shipped directly from the sewers to the client.

“We are selling the masks in packs of two — so one can be worn while the other is washed,” Luden said.

“We are appealing to corporates to support this initiative, which will not only protect them and their employees but be a method of survival for a small group of women and their dependents in Kylemore.”

To order online, go to https://www.ccfa.africa or e-mail info@ccfa.africa.

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