ECONOMY

Greek textile and apparel producers ready to throw weight into masks

greek-textile-and-apparel-producers-ready-to-throw-weight-into-masks

Fifty-five Greek textile and apparel production firms are ready to supply the local market with 8 million face masks a month to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the sector’s association said on Wednesday.

“With the addition of this production potential, sufficiency in this country can be assured,” the director general of the Association of Apparel and Textile Producers (SEPEE), Theofilos Aslanidis, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

According to Aslanidis, SEPEE sent letters to 560 businesses in the sector asking who could contribute to efforts to ensure that the Greek population has a sufficient supply of paper and cloth face masks. “I did not expect such a great response,” Aslandidis said of the 55 firms that expressed their readiness to pitch in.

Demand for masks has soared in recent days after cloth or paper coverings for the nose and mouth were made compulsory in numerous businesses and activities for both workers and customers – including hair salons, supermarkets and other retail stores – following the easing of lockdown measures at the start of the week.

“It appears that there are some businesspeople who see an opportunity which, even if coincidental, will give them the boost they need to ensure their survival following the serious setbacks suffered by the sector as a result of the pandemic,” Aslanidis said, adding that some of the 55 firms are already producing masks, while others have seen production slump since the start of the health crisis.

Asked about mask sale prices, Aslanidis noted that “this is always determined on the basis of supply and demand and depends on the quantity of production, how many people are needed for the production of the masks, as well as the quality of material that each enterprise uses for production.”

SEPEE has already submitted all the data to the ministries that record the quantities of products the country needs to tackle the Covid-19 health crisis. “Government officials are now fully aware of the production capacity of Greek enterprises regarding textile masks,” said Aslanidis, who also warned that the sector requires more state support to stay alive.