Zambeef’s Zamshu shoe division is using its stitching expertise to make thousands of face masks to help protect people from the COVID-19 disease.
The company has bought more than K100,000 of fabric and is aiming to make 25,000 protective masks over the next eight weeks.
“COVID-19 has affected all sectors of our society; businesses, institutions and individuals alike, and it will take concerted efforts to put a stop to it. For us at Zamshu, this is both a social and a business decision as we aim to ensure the general public has access to quality manufactured re-usable cotton facemasks but also ensure continuity and relevance of business as the leather sector continues to innovate and reinvent itself,” said Zamshu General Manager Richard Franklin.
Some 50 Zamshu staff are working on the project, making around 500-800 masks per day in support of the government’s guidance that people should wear face masks in public to minimise the spread of the virus.
Initial batches will be given the Zambeef frontline staff, who will need 2-3 each to ensure they are regularly changed and washed. The company has also already received orders from various other institutions.
Thereafter, masks will be distributed through Zambeef retail outlets countrywide, making them accessible to the general population.
Zamshu continues to operate the country’s largest operating tannery, with subdivisions that produce protective clothing and safety boots, school and sports shoes, including the famous Kaleza football boots, and wet blue hides and finished leather material that can be used for upholstery.
“We are hopeful that the COVID-19 situation will soon be over as everyone gets involved and do their part to stop it in its tracks. The masks are one way that we at Zamshu are supporting those efforts,” added Mr Franklin.