April 6, 2020
U.S. healthcare workers soon “will be wearing” happier and less-stressed expressions, thanks to the American fashion and apparel industries, Fast Company reports. The San Francisco-based startup, American Giant, which is known for its durable, domestically-produced clothing, is saying, “Hold on sweatshirts; hello medical masks,” on its website.
Indeed, American Giant has retooled its entire North Carolina factory and retrained all of its sewers to make medical-grade masks, in order to help the U.S. healthcare community fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “durable, not disposable” clothing company is part of a coalition of 11 U.S. apparel brands—among them, Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, and Los Angeles Apparel—that will start manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus, Fast Company says.
While much of apparel manufacturing has been shipped out of the United States over the last four decades, a small number of companies have chosen to invest in making products locally. These brands are now able to more quickly shift their production and deliver much-needed gear to hospitals in the United States.
Equipping hospital workers with the necessary tools has become a top priority as COVID-19 cases spread across the country. The coalition companies are joining forces to make one million masks a week that have been certified by the Department of Health and Human Services.
To do this, some of these companies have had to stop the production of their own goods. American Giant, for instance, is no longer making its regular line of clothing, which means that when its current inventory runs out, it will not be able to restock. But, much to its credit, it would rather restock hospital inventories than its own store shelves.
Research contact: @americangiant