On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, Brooks Brothers announced that it will start manufacturing medical masks for healthcare professionals this week in order to combat the Wuhan Virus.
The oldest clothier in America announced it will produce as many as 150,000 surgical masks per day at factories in New York, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. The company is renowned for usually producing ties, shirts, and suits.
Factory workers are expected to return to their jobs this week after going through a two-week precautionary self-quarantine.
Brooks Brothers revealed in a statement that it’s been communicating with federal and state officials, task forces, various prominent hospital systems, and other organizations in the past two weeks. The company will partner with the Stop the Spread coalition of CEOs who are voluntarily supporting government action during the pandemic.
The company said it has cooperated with universities that specialize in textile technology to develop prototypes and requested the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expedite the approval process.
“We consider this a duty, and part of our DNA at Brooks Brothers,” CEO Claudio Del Vecchio declared in a statement. “We are deeply grateful to the medical personnel at the frontlines who are fighting the pandemic, and we are honored to do our part and join our peers in retail to provide protective masks that our health care system critically needs.”
Brooks Brothers said it is “closely following public health guidance” and will make sure federal sanitation and social distancing guidelines are complied with at the factories.
This announcement followed another decision by athletic apparel maker Under Armour said it will produce 500,000 surgical masks for medical personnel in Maryland.
Governors across the country have said that their states and hospitals desperately need personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.
The private sector is clearly answering the call and acting in solidarity to help the rest of the country in a time of need.