As we face this unprecedented time in our country and new challenges of lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures, Polo South Africa has committed to helping the City of Cape Town through pledging 250 000 cotton fabric masks to be distributed to commuters and essential services across the country.
While most South Africans are working from home, there are some who are still dependent on public transport. Commuters who are part of essential services as well as first responders, are more challenged with adhering to the social distancing that is widely advised right now.
Given the global mask shortage and the need to act immediately to ‘flatten the curve’ this project sprang into action on Monday 16th March.
To assist with this, Polo has set up a task team in their shirt factory in Atlantis to manufacture the ‘Commuter Facemasks’. They are not medical masks but rather a cotton fabric, washable and reusable Facemask. The masks are currently freely distributed via The City of Cape Town to vulnerable residents at clinics and public transport interchanges.
“As President, Cyril Ramaphosa said in his initial address, our country’s ‘thuma mina’ moment is upon us as never before. As a fashion brand, this is our small way of helping our nation’s commuters and to stand alongside the health services who are hard at work at the front lines”
said Mark Oliver, Polo MD.
The factory will continue production until the pledge has been met and the masks have been delivered to the most needed areas across the country.
“We have distributed the first 10 000 masks so far and thanks to Polo South Africa for providing this much needed resource”
Polo was founded in 1976 by Gordon Joffe along with two former Monatic executives, Ronnie Lange and Freddie Barnet, and Stuart Shub from Rex Trueform.
Gordon Joffe had previously headed the shirt division at Monatic, and then became the driving force behind the Polo brand.
Gordon was passionate about mens’ shirts and sought to be ‘the country’s quality lounge shirt producer’. (1)His factory L’uomo in Lansdowne produced the first Polo shirts with the trademark square button. The Polo shirt soon became synonymous with the best of quality.
The Polo factory became a leading manufacturer of shirts in South Africa, also producing for prominent local brands.In 1978, Gordon expanded his production and started manufacturing shirts for international brands, amongst these Christian Dior and Lanvin.
He also exported Polo shirts internationally to the UK and Switzerland.In 1979 the business expanded its production line to further the menswear collection, and soon after Polo womenswear and new product categories followed, cementing the brand as a lifestyle brand.
In 1998, the ‘Polo and Pony’ trademark was purchased by the LA Group (Pty) Ltd who continues to build on the legacy and development of the brand further into the SA Market.
Polo now employs a vast array of specialist designers, buyers, planners, merchandisers and a procurement team that delivers seasonal collections of menswear, womenswear, kid’s apparel, homeware and accessories.
Polo is sold in Polo flagship stores, leading department stores and selected independent stores in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
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