North Side fitness wear company answers PPE call for first responders

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CHICAGO – A business on the North Side dedicated to performance fitness wear has answered the call to help first responders.

John Okon is shifting part of his small business Sweatvac, located in the 4300 block of North Lincoln Avenue, in order to pay it forward.

“There’s a big demand for the shapeshifters, which is a product that we make,” Okon said. “It’s basically a ring spun, tube of fabric that is printable. So we make them and you can wear them as a headband, or bandana but a lot of people wear them over their face.”

Across the world, PPE is in short supply. Local leaders, like Gov. Pritzker, are asking for donations for first responders.

On Friday, the CDC issued a new guidance for face masks; urging citizens to use them when in public.

The task force recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said.

Okon isn’t just donating bland shapeshifters to first responders. Sweatvac has customized them for departments like the US Marshals, Chicago police and Chicago fire.

“We’re cranking out hundreds of these things to give out to US Marshals, Chicago fire, Chicago police, gang unit, Northlake police to get them out there and put them on these guys and try and help them out any way we can,” Okon said.


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