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NYC fashion industry can start producing medical equipment


City and state are studying how regional clothing manufacturers can quickly start producing surgical gowns and masks.

Authorities are warning the city of the need for 3 million N95 masks, 50 million surgical masks and 25 million protective gowns to overcome the epidemic of coronavirus.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said she spoke with Blasio’s administration earlier this week about mobilizing the city’s clothing industry to help it described as a war effort.

“I have spoken directly to the manufacturers and they are ready to start, as long as they have the materials,” said Brewer. “And they were targeting 25,000 clothes if they could get the equipment.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday that the state would provide funds to companies to buy equipment and hire workers to make protective clothing.

Brewer said the Council of Fashion Designers of America and ITAC, the manufacturers’ group, had sent surveys to more than 2,000 members to assess their capabilities.

The ITAC survey asks whether companies can produce a range of items, from cotton swabs to masks and ventilators.

Designer Christian Siriano told Cuomo in a tweet that he was ready to help.

Cuomo thanked him for his help, adding who next?

Brewer said the last time she remembered that the government had asked the local garment industry for help was during the Gulf War when there was a need for uniforms.



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