How do you keep your customers safe when it comes to trying on samples? This is yet another twist in this COVID-19 world we now live in...
This question was posed by NNEP member Barbara C. of Barb's Embroidery, "I need some guidance. We have recently started working with a fire department. Sometimes they want to try things on. With the virus, what are my guidelines for clothes that have been tried on?" GREAT question, Barb!
I found a credible source for info on how to handle fabrics more quickly than I expected to online at the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wash-cloth-face-coverings.html
If this is how the CDC recommends we clean reusable fabric face masks, I would think that it is then reasonable to use these same guidelines to clean apparel samples after customers have handled them or tried them on?
I would strongly encourage, perhaps even require that the customers wear masks if and while they try on samples. If the customer is keeping the samples for more than one day, I would either collect them and launder all the samples, or ask the customer to launder the samples at the firehouse in this specific example in a load all by themselves, and do that every evening that they have the samples.
This certainly adds a whole new layer of responsibility for anyone selling apparel and working with samples.
This is why they have closed all the dressing rooms in retail stores in Ohio at the moment, most likely.
I would let the firehouse know that these new, but washed shirts will be incorporated into the final order, so that you are not stuck with a bunch of washed but new shirts that you can no longer sell as new. If you have not yet provided the samples, I would go ahead and embroider them before they are shared with the firehouse, and certainly embroider them before they are washed, as the fresh new surface is always the best surface for the embroidery.
I will check around to see if anyone has additional suggestions for best practices on how to safely manage samples that have been handled or tried on.
Are you letting customers try samples on in your business? Please leave a comment below and let me know.