By Iris Van de Ven, HR Business Partner, The Netherlands
For the foreseeable future, we’ll be wearing face masks and it’s likely that they will also become fashion items, rather than merely functional.
At IQ-EQ Netherlands, we wanted to help during the pandemic so we came up with an initiative to produce our own face masks to sell, with the proceeds of the sales being donated to the Foodbank Amsterdam. 1 million people live below the poverty line in the Netherlands, and this food bank supports 3,800 people every week, including 1,800 children. This increased by 30% as a result of the pandemic, and therefore it became even more vital to support them where possible.
The initiative had a social impact at every step of the project. The ISA Committee carefully selected the individuals and companies they interacted with, in the materials and in the production of the face masks. They hired two individuals whose income had dramatically declined since the beginning of the pandemic to provide the fabric and produce the face masks.
Firstly, Jane, a store owner who had been struggling as she had just newly launched her business when the coronavirus crisis hit. Her store specialises in printed cotton fabrics in Holland with African motives. Jane supported our initiative by providing the material to make the masks.
Further, Loredana made the face masks. Before the pandemic she worked in a hotel, but also ran a small family business, a food truck that took her to festivals and large functions. With parties and festivals firmly on hold, there hasn’t been much work. After a while at home, she started sewing face masks for friends and neighbours and realised this was an opportunity to earn some money to support her young family.
Here is a short video clip to illustrate Jane and Loredana’s work, and also the impact that the proceeds will have in helping the Foodbank Amsterdam.
If you would like to support this initiative, wherever you are in the world, you can buy a face mask and it will be posted to you! It is €4.00 per face mask and donations are also welcome. All proceeds will be donated to the Foodbank Amsterdam. If you would like to buy a face mask, please get in touch with the ISA Committee.