US apparel-textile brands coalition to produce face masks

March 25, 2020 - United States Of America

A coalition of iconic American apparel brands and textile companies, responding to the urgent call of the White House for medical supplies, have come together to quickly build a supply chain and fast-track the manufacturing of medical face masks to help hospitals, healthcare workers and citizens battling the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

Parkdale Inc, the largest yarn spinner in the United States headquartered in North Carolina, helped lead the effort to build the coalition with Hanesbrands, Fruit of the Loom and six other companies to set up a manufacturing supply chain and begin ramping up production of the masks, according to a press release from the National Council of Textile Organisations (NCTO).

The coalition comprises competitors in the marketplace. American Giant, Los Angeles Apparel, AST Sportswear, Sanmar, America Knits, Beverly Knits and Riegel Linen are also part of it.

Peter Navarro, assistant to the president and director of the White House office of trade and manufacturing policy, worked with the coalition and helped expedite the production of these masks. The first face masks have been approved by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The companies expect to make the first deliveries by mid this week. The companies are dedicating their assets, resources and manufacturing capacities to create a high output of facemasks. Once fully ramped up in four to five weeks, the companies expect to produce up to 10 million facemasks per week in the United States and in Central America.