New York fur companies are using their skills during coronavirus blockages.
Golfo Karageorgos, owner of the Tres Chic Furs business in the Garment District, has produced three-layer disposable nonwoven masks to donate to everyone from local correctional officers and supermarket workers to doctors and nurses during the pandemic.
“No one needs fur coats at this time. Manufacturing fur at this time is not essential, so we are using our resources to help the community until manufacturing returns to normal, “Karageorgos told The Post.
Tres Chic Furs has six employees dedicating all their time to making masks, working longer hours than normal from the comfort of their homes.
“I have been cutting and delivering the fabric to some of my people at home to sew and keep my team members safe from doing this safely,” said Karageorgos.
“We produce tens of thousands of these and distribute them as we make them, literally, as people need them.”
Karageorgos said changing gears was not easy. The masks it produces are commercial grade, not medical grade, due to the difficulty of obtaining the proper materials.
“I tried everywhere to find medical grade fabric, we have all been trying to do that. If you want to do something, you want to do it well, but it is impossible to find,” he said, “we were able to come up with some fabrics that would work for this.” .
The big fashion houses have also collaborated to help make equipment. So Karageorgos said that smaller companies should also do their part.
“The coronavirus has shown how important small local manufacturers are because of the crisis we are enduring right now and how broken our supply chain is,” Karageorgos said.
He added that it has been terrifying to work to make the personal protective equipment.
“It has been strange not having anyone going to my factory and working just cutting, but it is what we have to do now to properly distance ourselves and help at the same time,” he said.
Karageorgos said his business will resist the coronavirus, as he has had other difficult times since his father started Tres Chic Furs in 1980.
“The city tried to ban the fur industry last year, and we fought them, saying that we are local small business owners and manufacturers and that we were the foundation of the city and what it is based on. And in any case, this Pandemic has proven to have significant local manufacturing and small business is.
In addition to the masks being made, local business group FurNYC purchased and provided 5,000 CDC-certified KN95 masks to Councilor Robert Cornegy to donate to Woodhull and Interfaith Hospitals, both located in his district.
“I am pleased to work with the fur industry on this initiative, to manufacture masks for people and secure KN95 masks for people on the front line in hospitals.
Cornegy, who said “it is no secret” that he supported not banning New York furriers, praised the fur industry as a model for other industries during the crisis.
“Politics and crisis create unique bedmates,” Cornegy told The Post. “This is an opportunity for two forces, a politician and a single industry, to help serve the people of New York. We should all be able to unite in crisis to do good to our city. ”