“Eight weeks and over 1500 face coverings later, I’m still financially standing.” – Zoe Carol
As Covid-19 disrupted the livelihoods of fashion designers, some of them pivoted into the stop-gap measure of applying their craft to making face coverings. We spoke some of those who are facing the future with new solutions.
On the 9th of March, I was teaching my kids sewing class. The kids had finished their project early so I suggested that we make face coverings for the craic. It was just when Covid was hitting the news, but in no way did we think we’d actually need them.
Three days later, we were in lockdown, my sewing classes came to a halt and I was left wondering what to do for an income. I was just about to launch a new womenswear collection after a four-year hiatus, but it didn’t feel right to keep going. For a week I toyed with the idea of making face coverings, but was reluctant until a friend asked me to make some.
Eight weeks and over 1500 face coverings later, I’m still financially standing. I didn’t think anyone would care to wear my Irish linen face coverings but I’m glad they did. I was on Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment for three weeks and it was great relief when I was able to deregister. The worry lifted and more importantly, I was busy through the pandemic.
I stopped stress cooking and cleaning, and went back to doing what I love. In the challenges of career pivoting, I learned so much. This time around, there was no time for trial and error, the design had to be exact because people depended on it. I can’t afford to design selfishly anymore and I’ve gladly adapted this to my womenswear designs and business as a whole.
Photos: Ruth Medjber