The COVID-19 definitely changes the clothing market and the philosophy of the clothing, raising the role of clothes to personal protective mean. What to produce in the pandemic times? How to produce? How to protect employees and commit to social responsibilities? These questions were fundamental at a webinar attended by the Tajik textile companies’ managers today, on 27 August 2020.

This programme was made possible thanks to the Government of Switzerland through the International Trade Centre (ITC)’s Global Textiles and Clothing Programme. The course was programmed and delivered by the Moscow-based Fashion Consulting Group.

New challenges also create new opportunities. The “pandemic accessories” such as fashion masks, gloves, hats, and the pandemic impact to the clothing design and style, integration of the protective clothing to sportswear and everyday wear clothing, production in line with the international standards and requirements to get certified for the Russian and the European markets were discussed at the online event.

Ms. Galina Kravchenko, the trainer and the expert on designing commercial apparel collection, says, “Let’s take the simplest pandemic textile product – face masks. Whom for we produce it? There are masks primarily designed to protect the wearer, there are masks meant to protect others. There are medical standards for them to be allowed to enter a market. At the webinar we introduced international experience of the fashion response to the pandemic to Tajik companies”.

The ITC continues digitalization of some of its activities as part of plans to adjust to new realities. Organization of series of online educational events is part of this adjustment plan.

ITC also supports its beneficiary companies, impacted by the pandemic, to adapt to the new business environment. Many companies resumed operations though had to reduce staff because of decreased sales volume. The operating companies follow ITC’s practical guidelines and recommendations on maintaining labour safety and health while taking appropriate COVID-19 preventive measures in the companies. They disinfect the entrances, facilities, workshops and provide their employees with masks. The workers are requested to follow the physical distancing rules. Additionally, some enterprises are also frequently checking the temperatures. The ITC also consults beneficiary companies on developing online tools and services. Importance of all these measures has especially been highlighted at the webinar.

The Tajik companies started adapting their production line to produce medical textile to cover the local market in the beginning of March 2020. At the webinar, they additionally learned deeper classification of different types of face masks and protective gowns, trends in fashionable and creative “pandemic clothing”, and certification requirements of foreign markets.

The International Trade Centre (ITC), supported by the Government of Switzerland, aims to increase the export competitiveness of the Tajik textile and clothing sector by supporting sector companies, and as well as relevant trade support institutions from both public and private sectors.

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