As the nation’s hospitals face shortages of personal protection equipment due to the coronavirus, garment manufacturers are stepping up to help resolve the shortage of face masks for hospital personnel.
At the request of the federal government, Hanes has recently started to switch over from the manufacture of apparel to the production of cotton masks. The Federal Drug Administration granted approval for this move in unprecedented time, one week. These are not the precious N95 respirator masks, but they are approved for surgery, which frees all those masks to be used for the coronavirus pandemic. The company plans to ramp production up to 1.5 million masks per week. Hanes is collaborating to share specifications and patterns with other apparel companies, including Fruit of the Loom, SanMar, Beverly Knits, and the National Council of Textile Organizations.
Bayside America, the nation’s largest vertical apparel manufacturer, has also started to switch production from apparel to masks. The 100% US-cotton, washable, breathable masks have been being donated to hospitals around the country.
Dov Charney’s Los Angeles Apparel has made a public offer to provide any municipal, state, or federal agency in need of textile production with his company’s assistance.
Bella+Canvas has come up with a unique design for mass production of masks that also may help with the world-wide shortage of masks right now.