Ninian & Lester, using their global underwear brand, Jockey, has shifted its short-term focus to manufacturing masks.  
Photo: Supplied
Ninian & Lester, using their global underwear brand, Jockey, has shifted its short-term focus to manufacturing masks. Photo: Supplied

Local underwear brand to manufacture 40 000 masks a day

By Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Apr 30, 2020

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DURBAN - With the demand for face masks being a top priority for all South Africans, Ninian & Lester, using their global underwear brand, Jockey, has shifted its short-term focus to manufacturing masks. 

The Durban-based underwear manufacturer has committed to producing upwards of 40 000 masks daily – not only with a priority to reduce the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic but also to assist in protecting jobs for existing employees who will work under strict protocols and health regulations. 

The Jockey  reusable Cotton Washable mask costs R49.95 and the 10 pack Disposable 3 Layer mask costs R175.

The masks are earmarked to go to an array of sectors including pharmaceutical distribution companies, industrial businesses, selected retailers, as well as online, so that everyone has the ability to access this essential item.

Bruce McMurray, General Manager for Jockey SA said, "We are really proud to be able to assist South Africans in an exceptional way. As we have watched the effects of Covid-19 unfold in the past weeks, we have realised that, with our existing infrastructure and expertise as underwear manufacturers, we have the ability to assist the greater community". 

"Our masks are reusable and once complete are packed with 5 interchangeable filters giving the user in excess of a month’s use. All health regulations have been closely assessed and adhered to in the design and manufacture of these masks. Our operations have been adjusted so that, whilst manufacturing, our staff are screened and provided with adequate PPE and sanitisation measures whilst adhering to the rules of social distancing," added Murray. 

The Jockey reusable cotton washable face masks, with D15 Brits filter (*this filter has been accredited by the Stellenbosch University), are laboratory approved and comprises 2 cloth layers plus accredited filter and, once they have been immersed in boiling water and dried, are ready for re-use. The design covers the entire nose and mouth region, giving users the comfort that these have been manufactured using the best quality locally manufactured fabrics and design and sewing skills which the Jockey Brand prides itself in. 

The masks consist of 100 percent cotton with the top layer being 100 percent knitted cotton, and the reverse layer being 96 percent cotton and 4 percent polyester. 

Jockey has always been committed to empowering the community in which they operate and have already assisted various charitable organisations to donate masks to those in their care.

"We have always valued the support that our Jockey brand receives from our customers across the country and believe that we can now continue to do what we do best.  At this time of crisis, our core focus is not on profitability but rather on delivering on an essential demand and we are committed to offering our customer great value for their purchase," concluded McMurray.

Recently, a dedicated marketplace portal went live on the Proudly South African website.

Proudly SA said that the concept of the portal arose from discussions with the SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU), the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and The Manufacturing Circle around steps that could be taken to align initiatives underway in the clothing and textile manufacturing industry with the needs of the public and businesses. These include the ground-breaking collective agreement at the clothing bargaining council to galvanize the industry to produce more PPE items.

All companies listed on the site have confirmed with the clothing bargaining council that they are genuine manufacturers producing locally made fabric masks, supporting local jobs and operating under conditions that promote the health and safety of workers, amongst other things.  


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