India has over 4.7 lakh active Covid cases, as of this weekend. This includes cases of infection by Omicron – a variant of concern of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
While cities from Delhi and Chandigarh to Mumbai are taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of its citizens, ensuring that businesses and their people remain safe depends on company bosses, too.
Fashion industry experts say they’ve taken a number of lessons from the first two waves of Covid to heart, and are implementing safety measures in their workspaces to be as Omicron-ready as possible.
As the situation develops, fashion designers Sana Barreja, Saloni Panwar, Sarika Kakrania, Abhinav Gupta and Esha Bhambri and Drishti Doshi talk about precautionary measures they are following and how they are prepared if a lockdown is announced:
By appointment or online
“Covid has changed our working style… We meet our clients strictly on an appointment-basis and request for the vaccination certificate of our customers while giving an appointment,” says Sarika Kakrania from Pink City by Sarika.
“Appointments are always spaced out to avoid multiple customers from being in our studio at the same time. Sanitization on entry and wearing masks are non-negotiable to ensure everyone’s safety,” says Sarika.
“Most of our business has moved online,” Sarika adds. “So, even if there is a lockdown; the customers who are willing to shop can place their orders online; we can process those orders with our teams working remotely as well.”
100% vaccinated staff
“We have made sure that the staff and labour at the factory are fully vaccinated,” says Sana from Sana Barreja. “Wearing a mask and continuously sanitizing the factory is mandatory. We have also created mask and sanitization stations at different parts of the workplace and always maintain social distancing,” Sana adds.
“Like any other business, we are hoping for things to be normal, and (hope that) no lockdown takes place, but in case of a lockdown like the last time, our utmost priority would be the safety of all our employees,” says Sana.
Safety at level zero
“From everyone using sanitizer, washing hands to wearing safety gloves, our staff is adhering to the safety measures, to assure our clients’ well-being. While packing orders and attending to clients, our staff is wearing masks. We booked slots for every one of our staff members so they could get fully vaccinated. Ensuring safety at level zero is necessary. God forbid, if there is a lockdown, we are prepared for it this time, may it be financially taking care of the staff, or donating care packages to those who need them the most, we will take every essential step required to take care of ourselves and people around us.” says Saloni Panwar from Gulabo Jaipur.
“The brand does not stock up huge inventories and believes in increasing inventories as and when the sales are rising. This reduces the risk of stocking up in case of a lockdown. We are thankful to have a clientele we can trust to keep us going through all our thick and thin,” say Abhinav Gupta and Esha Bhambri from House of Fett.
“Since the onset of Covid-19, we have made sure our artisans as well as office staff always have their masks on during office hours. We have also made sure every staff member is double vaccinated by now. Since we are primarily an eCommerce brand, we were operational all through lockdown up till now, without a single staff member getting Covid – we have been lucky that way. So, we are prepared now as well in case of a lockdown as we have always taken all safety measures as per government policies and regulations. All staff members, as well as delivery partners, maintain social distance while carrying out tasks,” says Drishti Doshi from Junipero.