Ever since State of Emergency (alongside the measures it carries) was declared in Serbia, people are willing to help, and in solidarity for those in need. Lack of face masks, other protective gear and desinfectants have made coronavirus pandemic even harder, especially for medical workers. Nevena Kragić, fashion designer from Niš got an idea to sew masks with her colleagues. We decided to rise that idea to a higher level, and activated more people. The most important thing is that even those who cannot sew can help, by donating money for mask materials.
Situation our country got itself into showed that our medical staff doesn’t even have the basic work conditions. Many of them work without protective gear, masks and gloves, while number of infected is getting higher. Pharmacies and other canals of supply are out of stock. Inspired by a unique action by fashion designers all over Serbia and our Jedi Nevena Kragić, we enlisted a team of Jedi to create operative strategy and Zastitilice initiative.
Initiative started through crowdfunding campaign on www.donacije.rs platform, where we collect funds for materials. We also map and spring little workshops into motion. At the end, we bring materials to sewing workshops, and bring mask orders to those who commisioned them.
Nevena recorded two tutorial videos on sewing masks, bz hand and bz sewing machine. We secured over 100.000 RSD for materialsand eight sewing machines in just over a day, and expect more sewing workshops to join our cause. By our calculation, one person with average sewing knowledge and a sewing machine can sew 40 – 80 masks daily. One mask uses about 35 square centimeters of cotton, and a meter of paspul ribbon. By this calculation, one mask costs about 60 RSD. The Jedi movement did what was in our power, and started producing around 3333 masks for starters, to help medical staff in south Serbia.
Masks we sew have two pure cotton layers, that can be washed over and over again. There is an option to put gauze between the two layers, and even soak it in alcosol or asepsol, to enhance the effect of protection.
Please note that these masks do not guarantee protection. Their purpose is to maintain daily hygienic discipline, and responsibility to others. In order to use ZastitiLice face covers in medical purposes, please inquire advice on their sanitation and disinfection from a qualified person. We bear no responsibility in case the masks do not fit the protective purpose that you use them for. Also, we strongly condemn any abuse of such and similar actions of solidarity.
Besides Miloš, who rallies people and deals with procurement and delivery, our team consists of Nevena Kragić, who coordinates technical details of mask production, Marija Jović runs communication and records the applications of seamstresses, donors and mask seekers. Petra Cvetanović leads digital campaign on social networks, where we started a group for people to get informed on details of our action. There, people can see video tutorials on how to sew their own masks, and get informed on joining the #ZaštitiLice initiative.