Raw Denim & Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Designer Maurice Malone works in protective N95 mask & gloves in Williamsburg, Brooklyn shop
By Maurice Malone  Published March 24, 2020
These are truly unprecedented times. As the owner of a small denim brand in a business known for promoting wearing jeans for long periods without washing, I thought I'd provide some advice dealing with raw denim while updating customers with our operations schedule.
It may not be the best time for wearing washed clothing
Like most raw enthusiast, I often wear jeans for extended durations before washing them. As most of us know, it's best for fading and avoiding shrinkage. However, now is not the best time for not washing clothing.
A lot is still unknown about the coronavirus (COVID-19), and how long it survives on surfaces. To be safe, I avoid wearing the same unwashed jeans in less than a 10-day rotation. In fact, over the past 2-weeks, I have made it a point to work in clothing that goes straight into the washing machine as soon as I step into my home. Currently, I'm working in fleece jogger pants and pre-washed twills.
Although I've heard conflicting reports that we should not worry about packages, at the same time, I also hear that coronaviruses can live on surfaces a few hours or up to several days. I choose to spray and wipe-down our incoming shipments, plus let them sit a few days before opening.
Not afraid of feeling embarrassed or overly precautious, to protect my family & customers, from the time I step out of my home and until I return, I have been wearing an N95 respirator mask and working with rubber gloves since the first reported case of COVID-19 in Washington State. I knew it would hit New York shortly after, and because I work on clothing from all over the U.S., I took precautions before being warned to do so.
Denim designer Maurice Malone wears indigo stained rubber gloves to help protect against coronavirus while working on clothing
The retail store is now closed, and the staff stopped working last week. With a 2-minute bike ride straight to my business down a bike path, I still work from both my home and alone at the store to receive shipments, complete custom orders, and alterations jobs. There are no guaranteed shipping times, everything is fluid. I'm working to get things done ASAP. Unfortunately, for the survival of the company, I cannot completely shut-down. I have one of those small businesses, I believe will fall through the cracks, and will not get help from the government or vendors to cover the company’s ongoing expenses. To minimize monthly expenses to the essentials, I asked our phone provider to pause our service. I'm not sure how long the phones will remain operational, so please use email to contact us.
For those in need of alterations, custom jeans, or want to place orders, I will do my best to ship as soon as safely possible. I will continue to take all the precautions for safe delivery, but you should expect delayed timetables.