Wow, what a nightmare this mask journey has been...
We began producing these masks locally and with the purpose of providing masks at cost to the public. After donating half of the first batch and selling out of the rest within hours online, we put the masks for pre-order over the weekend of April 5th. On Monday following the week, I went back to the producer to order more masks to meet the pre-orders but she more than doubled the price so an at-cost mask became an at-loss mask for us. She said this was due to an unforeseen increase in the price of elastic. As we were already taking a loss on these masks by covering the cost of the filters, we could not afford to take a further hit.
We then decided to have them produced in Peru. We stopped all other production to produce 20,000 masks. This order was ready over 4 weeks ago but was stopped at customs due to the new law restricting masks from being exported.
After many sleepless nights, emails, and phone calls, I was eventually granted permission by the Minister of Health to allow the exportation of these masks on Monday, April 27th. We were overjoyed and had the masks ready to be released Wednesday, April 29th. However, late afternoon we got word that the masks were stopped for a second time at customs. Finally, on Wednesday, May 6th, Peruvian customs released the masks and we received them to our Miami warehouse late Friday evening (May 8th). Third time's a charm, ay?
You may now purchase our at-cost cloth masks on our website either with a filter for $5 each or without for $3.50. Our masks are made from leftovers of our signature fabrics, so they are fully sustainable.
I want to sincerely apologize to all those that ordered masks from us and had to wait an unreasonable time to receive them, over a month! I learned a very valuable lesson in all of this and I am sorry to have let our customers down.
As a company, we are dedicated to serving our customers and greater community at all times, and especially in times of need. So I felt great sadness that in trying to do something good I ended upsetting a lot of customers. Again, I am truly sorry.
A special thank you to our team in Peru that worked around the clock to have these masks made and to the team that fought day and night in getting them released from customs and exported (We did something very naughty the first time around and tried exporting them as sleep masks and we were caught – whoops, was worth a shot though right?). Special thanks to my team in Miami that have dealt with endless customer service issues regarding these masks and for working hard to get them online as quickly as possible.
So happy to be able to say we now have these masks available online, at cost in all the Pitusa colors in our lovely Pima cotton fabric adorned with our signature trims.
We will be donating over 3,000 masks to local hospitals – please contact us with any hospitals in particular that you would like to see them being sent to.
Lots of love,
Clara Lago Rashidian