LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced the formation of “L.A. Protects,” a new partnership to organize the city’s fashion and garment industry to make protective gear and other medical supplies for frontline workers.
“The number-one mission right now is saving lives,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Our manufacturing sector is unmatched anywhere, and the ingenuity of working people will help us get through this emergency. L.A. Protects will save people — and save jobs.”
The initial target for the initiative is the manufacturing of 5 million non-medical masks for people who need protection — grocery store workers, non-medical staff in hospitals, and others providing essential services during the COVID-19 crisis.
L.A. Protects could help businesses that might otherwise might have to close and furlough staff, by connecting them with opportunities to provide an essential service. Working in partnership with the sustainable fashion brand Reformation, which will monitor mask production to maintain quality assurance, L.A. Protects will match approved manufacturing companies with essential industries in need of masks –– including the healthcare industry, grocers, take-out restaurants, delivery services, as well as food and beverage manufacturers. Garment and apparel manufacturers in the city can sign up at Coronavirus.LACity.org/
“It’s important that we take care of each other during this pandemic,” said Yael Aflalo, founder and CEO of Reformation. “Part of this is ensuring that the brave workers who are the backbone of our Los Angeles community, and keep our essential needs met, have access to the necessary tools to protect themselves and others. Whether you are working in a grocery store, pharmacy, hospital, or another critical industry, you deserve to be safe and healthy.”
Kaiser Permanente is a partner in L.A. Protects, having provided the specifications for a non-medical mask that is being open-sourced to the public. Participating businesses will be required to meet high standards of product quality and must follow strict protocols to protect employees –– including placing workstations at least six feet apart from each other and regularly disinfecting workstations and other high-use areas.