Standard Covid-19 fabric masks.
Early Studio space (2020)
The Covid-19 pandemic gripped the globe towards the start of the year 2020 and an unexpected complete lockdown was announced nationwide in India. Initially for a 3-week period and subsequently extended twice for a total of three months through March to May of 2020, within less than a year of our Studio starting operations. As the subsequent lifting of restrictions occurred in phases, the first goal was to use textile surplus and technical skills of the studio to support efforts and aid in the call for a shortage of covid related items.
The state government of Delhi had announced an offer to purchase fabric masks at ₹9.00/- (USD 0.11) per piece from independent producers. These undertakings were in tangent with the World Health Organisation releasing guidelines on alternative and home-made PPE aimed to bridge the gap in availability of industrially produced equipment and ensure appropriate allocation of such gear, till industrial production could pick back up. Designing through research for a comfortable and adaptive mask design was undertaken during the lockdown, following which a few days of inventory check, testing and material innovation resulted in a final prototype that fit the directed guidelines and could be produced with materials we had on hand. Over the next 2 month, a daily routine led to the production of masks to supply to the municipal employees in the area of Vasant Kunj. By the end of the first week, 50 masks were handed over and by the end of the two months over 600 masks had been supplied to civil bodies and first responders and 480 masks has been shipped nationwide at a retail price to studio clients. For Neco, this was not a profit seeking exercise but a call to action and as such, a step-by-step guide on how to construct similar masks was highlighted on the studio's Instagram page to encourage hobbyists to follow along and create their own within the safety of their homes.
Part of the proceeds from sale of Covid related items was donated through Give India towards the needs of sanitary workers who had continued to work as essential services during the lockdown.
The studio also set up a fund in response to public school disruption, providing school textbooks and stationery for the years of 2020-21 and 2021-22 for domestic workers who’s children stood to lose the school year due to shut down and supply issues in their respective government run school systems. 6 households with primarily daughters were directly benefited from our programme at the basti located in Vasant Kunj's Mahipalpur area.
DIY story to make your own masks
Paper free details on masks
PEOPLE & COVID-19
A print project undertaken by the studio digitally, aimed at sharing stories of young people during the first lockdown, engaging them to express the thoughts, challenges and experiences during those unprecedented times.