John Grifonetti on the Growing Demand for Masks in the Clothing Industry

John Grifonetti
3 min readFeb 16, 2021


When the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier last year, few people anticipated the depth of its impact on the economy. The clothing industry saw a decline in demand for new garments as more and more people started working from home. But, if office clothes were going out of fashion, so to speak, the demand for masks was on the rise. And many in the clothing industry saw a great business opportunity in, otherwise, difficult times.

Entrepreneur John Grifonetti was a CPA at the start of his career, running an online brokerage firm as its president and COO, then taking the reins of an interdealer broker that specialized in credit default swaps. He recently retired in Old Tappan, New Jersey. Since then, he has settled into retirement by investing in small businesses and personally helping them grow with his considerable acumen for understanding markets, innovating products, and bringing the best out of his staff. Grifonetti’s diverse investment portfolio includes a sports apparel company, a car dealership, and various real estate projects.

The Demand for Face Masks

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, only a few people realized the importance of face masks as a means of combating the spread of the coronavirus. But once it became clear that personal protection equipment was the first line of defense for frontline workers, the demand for face masks skyrocketed overnight. According to John Grifonetti of Old Tappan, New Jersey, this spike in mask demand was a welcome lifeline for many in the clothing industry.

Nobody really expected the mask to integrate itself in our daily lives so quickly. Not only did it become an essential item of clothing, but it soon turned into a fashion statement as well. And that’s what gives many companies and factories in the clothing industry hope. Even after masks are no longer a health requirement, as a lifestyle accessory, they will stay in fashion for many years to come. From sequins and printed statements to snakeskin, that stylish spin has given masks a new lease on life.

Hope in the Time of Crisis

Before COVID-19, the use of face masks was limited to certain professions. From cowboys herding cattle in the meadows to miners and construction workers seeking to protect their lungs against hazardous conditions. Occasionally, face masks served other nefarious purposes to hide the identity of those who worked in the shadows.

But this trivial item of clothing found a new purpose and gained significance during the time of the pandemic. John Grifonetti points out that fashion designers teamed up with garment manufacturers to turn the face mask into an essential part of everyday apparel. In some markets, new collections of fashionable masks roll out every week. And people can’t seem to get enough of them.

This prompted many businesses in the clothing industry to take face masks seriously. Some even went as far as launching their own mask brands and expanding their presence in the growing masks market.

John Grifonetti on Online Retail

Even if retail industry brick and mortar stores are struggling, the clothing industry and garment retailers have found online shopping has exploded.

Online shopping has allowed the clothing industry to get back on its feet. Not only are many garment factories back in business, but it appears they’re also creating new jobs, and face masks turned out to be the silver lining on the dark cloud of the pandemic for the factories says John Grifonetti.



John Grifonetti

John Grifonetti has built a career investing into small businesses and personally helping them grow with his considerable acumen for understanding markets