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Worn and returned clothing and uniforms (during the COVID19 pandemic)

It is possible to utilise an ozone machine into retail shops and department stores to sanitise returned clothes or those that have been tried on. The ozone machine will spit out ozone molecules into the air and can be stored in a designated clothing room or change room.

The best way to describe it? You could compare it to a little PacMan that will go out and eat up the dots and monsters. That is what ozone does. It actually goes out and eats up and dissipates the bacteria.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, it is largely unknown how long the virus that causes COVID19 can live on soft, porous surfaces and in the air, but ozone is a suitable insurance for prevention of transmission.

Resale shops across South Africa are finding themselves in somewhat precarious situations as they reopen. Many of their restaurateur neighbours are making do. Wiping down and disinfecting hard surfaces like tables, counters and chairs is relatively straightforward. But how do resalers make sure the clothing that comes into their stores is clean?

The answer is an ozone generator which, when applied to an unoccupied area, is a proven process often used in the flood and fire restoration business. A room can be designated for new or used clothing that comes in. Here the items can be processed, priced and tagged, etc. and subjected to ozone sanitation treatment before it goes to the floor.

The alternative method would be to arrange numerous trips to the washer to launder every single piece of clothing the shop will sell.

What was once a same-day process to purchase items, price them, tag them and get them out on the floor before the coronavirus pandemic, has turned into an average three-day process. Clothing the shop buys Mondays might only make it out onto the floor by Thursdays without ozone treatment.

Hangers, totes, shoes, hats and any containers customers bring clothing in can also be sanitized. Very seldom do clothes come in plastic bags but when and if they do, the trash bags get sanitized, too.

Dressing rooms can also be disinfected with ozone: every single item in the dressing room chairs, handles, hooks, even the walls. It is also possible that customers who are infected with COVID19 could be holding on to or leaning against the wall which the ozone gas will also treat.

Better control methods are now required for clothing that comes into stores. To reassure customers, ozone disinfection posters or stickers can be displayed to make people aware of the fact that when they walk into a used clothing store, all items and facilities have been sanitised. Stores need to attract customers to their facilities and they should know they will be safely looked after in the store.

The last thing store management should want would be for a customer to come in and buy something, and pick up a virus off of it. The pandemic with ozone protection in the stores will not necessarily affect or change the resale industry moving forward. People want to be assured the clothing is sanitised and that it’s safe for the shop to resell.