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Amid the global health crisis, the lack of personal protective equipment has raised growing concern regarding the safety of healthcare workers who are on the frontlines of fighting the pandemic. According to The City, more than 900 staff members working at New York City’s public hospitals have tested positive for COVID-19. Harlem Haberdashery, an award-winning bespoke boutique, and its parent company 5001 FLAVORS, is stepping up to address the scarcity of supplies.

The massive shortages of PPE have been pushed to the forefront of a national conversation. Viral photos of medical professionals wearing makeshift gear—like trash bags—for protection has sparked outrage. Sharene Wood, President and CEO, 5001 FLAVORS and Harlem Haberdashery, received several design inquiries from clients to create and manufacture medical-grade gowns and masks. Staying true to the brand’s essence of intertwining fashion with community impact, Harlem Haberdashery, 5001 FLAVORS and its philanthropic arm #TakeCareOfHarlem joined forces with The.Dott—a company that helps designers manage vendors and connects them to industry services—to create and donate PPE to New York City hospitals, including Harlem Hospital Center. Among the items that are being produced are spun bound non-woven polypropylene medical-grade masks and gowns.

Guy Wood, Creative Director of 5001 FLAVORS and Harlem Haberdashery, says the effort is an extension of their commitment to using fashion as a means for philanthropy. “The entire Harlem Haberdashery family is committed to always using fashion and philanthropy to help change the world and fight against this life-changing pandemic,” he said in a statement. “We will use our fashion background and contacts to help make the world safer instead of just fashionable for now.” Hospitals in need of PPE and individuals who are interested in donating can email the boutique directly or donate through PayPal or Cash App to $HaberdasheryNYC.

Initiatives like the one being led by Harlem Haberdashery are needed as the coronavirus ravages New York City. The city has had over 130,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Harlem Haberdashery has spearheaded several impactful initiatives, including supporting programs for underserved youth through work with the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem and most recently hosting their annual masquerade ball which benefited the Food Bank for New York City.

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