NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York City hospitals have enough masks, face shields, and gloves to make it through Sunday, but surgical gowns are in short supply.

So the Garment District is bringing back furloughed workers in order to ramp up production, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported Monday.

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For 30 years, Ferrara Manufacturing has been making high-end clothing from the heart of Manhattan’s famed district.

“Past clients included Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren,” Gabrielle Ferrara said.


But now, the 39th Street factory is switching gears, changing its whole supply chain to make surgical gowns.

“There’s been a growing problem and this problem we have not found a solution to yet and that’s the surgical gowns. These are crucial because they protect our health care workers,” de Blasio said.

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On Monday, de Blasio said the White House has helped secure fabric to produce 400,000 gowns locally over the next month.

“This process has kind of felt like a really even crazier runway show, because the materials were so hard to get,” Ferrara said.

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Ferrara is one of at least eight local manufacturers working with the city to make up to 220,000 gowns per week citywide.

“That ranges everywhere from Broadway costume producers to seamstresses,” said James Patchett, the president of New York City’s Economic Development Corporation.

Patchett said the effort has already brought back at least 1,000 jobs previously sidelined by the coronavirus outbreak.

“All of these manufacturers had laid off their workforce and were looking at weeks, if not months, of uncertainty and furloughs,” Patchett said.

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Manufacturers say being able to make this protective gear for healthcare workers is also turning out to be a lifeline for the Garment District, itself.

“We’re able to really support almost our full staff with this new shift,” Ferrara said. “We’re also working with other factories in the area, so it’s not just our factory that we’re supporting. We’re really supporting a huge network of factories in the Garment District and it’s pretty amazing to be able to activate an industry that really has this anchor point in New York City.”

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Protecting essential workers, and putting people back to work.