- Buyer's Guide
How Carry Brands are Helping Combat the Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in severe shortages of personal protection equipment (PPE) for the medical community, frontline responders, and the general public. Not to mention creating financial strain and uncertainty for many companies and their employees. But many brands are rallying to the cause, finding ways to help combat the coronavirus and its detrimental effects. And we want to shine a spotlight on these brands and applaud the good work they’re doing.
While we want to send a massive shout-out to carry brands, we’re also saluting other brands outside the carry niche who are doing stellar work too. A huge thank you to all of these brands, and please lend them your support if you can, even if it’s just spreading the word!
Vessi Footwear have donated more than a thousand pairs of shoes to frontline healthcare professionals fighting COVID-19. They’ve also committed to an initial purchase of 30,000 medical masks, to be donated to Canadian and US organizations that are most in need. Additionally, they’ve launched a Choose What you Pay initiative, with profits from each sale of shoes being used to purchase more PPE to donate on your behalf.
If you simply need a little pick-me-up in these uncertain times, you can get 40% off with the code THANKYOU. No masks will be donated.
If you use the code SUPERHEROES you’ll get 30% off your footwear purchase and help Vessi purchase 80 medical masks to donate to healthcare communities.
Alternatively you can purchase your footwear at full price and help Vessi donate 110 medical masks to healthcare communities. No code is needed.
Tom Bihn have devoted their entire production capacity to making face masks for healthcare professionals. Though not medical-grade PPE, the cotton masks are washable and reusable and intended to be worn by people with symptoms of COVID-19 or over N95s in an effort to extend their life. And rest assured, they’ve taken plenty of precautions to keep everyone in their factory safe with a variety of preventative measures too.
Ministry of Supply are committed to producing, procuring and distributing thousands of masks to assist medical professionals and frontline workers. Thanks to their experience in 3D printing clothing, they’ve collaborated with medical professionals to develop and manufacture 3D Print-Knit Masks° for frontline workers. The Masks° have a pocket for a removable filtration membrane.
They’ve also worked with their partners to procure thousands of face masks and N95-equivalent respirators for the medical community. Ministry of Supply are making an initial donation of 5,000 masks to the Boston Medical Center and want to do more with your help. You can help by donating to their efforts or making purchases through their website, with 100% of all donations and 20% of every sale going to the production, procurement and distribution of several types of masks.
Aer have stepped up to donate 100% of profits from online purchases made between April 1 and April 7 to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
American Giant have stopped production of their own products to retool their North Carolina facilities and retrain staff to make HHS-certified medical masks. The masks will be distributed to frontline medical personnel, with an initial target of 35,000 masks per week.
Mystery Ranch have teamed up with local manufacturers to provide masks to Bozeman Health Deaconess. The masks are made with a soft, antimicrobial, and breathable fabric already available through Mystery Ranch, and incorporate feedback from staff at Bozeman Health Deaconess. Daily mask deliveries will be made as long as demand continues. You can help out by donating to a fundraising campaign for manufacturing masks, as well as make your own using the pattern available online.
Fanatics have partnered with @mlb to create masks and hospital gowns. They’re using their Easton manufacturing plant to make masks and gowns out of the same jersey fabric worn by players on the field. The items will be distributed to hospitals and emergency personnel in Pennsylvania, with a goal to eventually extend to New York and New Jersey.
The Origin DEF Mask is a washable and reusable mask for the general public and first responders dealing with a shortage of PPE. The mask is made from Origin’s WarpWick© textile, which is breathable, form-fitting and moisture-wicking. For medical professionals, it can be worn as an outer shell for N95 masks. For the general public, the mask has an inner pouch where common household materials can be inserted for some protection. Origin have retooled their factory as of 22 March and are manufacturing the masks full-time, with masks being made to order.
Inside Line Equipment are making washable face masks from densely woven cotton fabric. The masks are being distributed to local first responders. For the month ILE will also be including a pair of face masks in orders over $100.
Osprey’s warranty and repair team have temporarily suspended operations in order to turn their attention to making washable masks for the local community. Their goal is to sew 100 fabric masks per day, to be given to healthcare workers and frontline responders in and around Cortez, CO. The masks are being sent to Southwest Memorial Hospital and the local health department.
New Balance have developed a general-use face mask in consultation with local medical and R&D institutions. Their goal by mid-April is to make up to 100,000 units a week at their Lawrence, MA and Norridgewock, ME factories combined. They are simultaneously advancing the current face mask design and materials specifications to ideally meet FDA requirements for use by frontline medical staff.
New Balance is combining direct medical facility coordination and communication at the Massachusetts and Maine state levels to determine the best distribution for supply and demand needs. They are pursuing break-even pricing and/or donations for the face mask initiative.
Their R&D teams are also working towards prototypes for other PPE utilizing their 3D printing capabilities.
Carhartt’s factories in Kentucky and Tennessee are being utilized to manufacture PPE. On 6 April Carhartt began producing 50,000 medical gowns. On 20 April they will begin manufacturing 2.5 million masks.
Associates from the manufacturing facilities volunteered to produce these items and Carhartt will continue to compensate them for their efforts, while ensuring recommended protocols are followed for a safe working environment.
NOMAD have set themselves the goal of getting important medical supplies to frontline responders with no profit. And they’re doing so by using their solid supply chain system to quickly move medical supplies from their Asian and North American warehouses to frontline responders around the world. They have long-standing relationships with suppliers in China, who have converted production to medical supplies. They operate a warehouse in Hong Kong, enabling fast processing and shipping of supplies to frontline responders. The operation is streamlined to reduce as much cost as possible and items are being priced to cover costs. If any profit is generated from the initiative it will be used to fight COVID-19 or donated to charity. Priority for masks will go to medical professionals, then first responders, followed by essential businesses. Those who require masks can order them, while the general public can also help the initiative through donations.
Flowfold have suspended normal production in order to make protective face shields for hospitals and healthcare facilities. The general public can support them in their efforts by purchasing products on their website, while fellow manufacturers can lend support and health facilities can request face shields here.
Peak Design have launched the Travel Tripod globally for standard retail on 7 April. For the first four days of the tripod sale, they will be donating 100% of tripod profits to coronavirus relief (via the CDC Foundation) and fighting climate change (via Climate Neutral).
Alpine Luddites is putting years of sewing expertise to good use making masks for local hospitals.
Also putting their sewing skills to solid use are the folks at Oveja Negra, getting busy making face masks.
Seek Outside have teamed up with ProSafe to help them make masks for distribution to hospitals.
Outdoor Research is converting their Seattle manufacturing facility to produce PPE for the medical community. They will be creating fabric face masks, surgical masks and N95 respirator masks. Their goal is to be able to make 200,000 masks per day by summer.
Budapest-based Tenshibag are providing masks to order for adults and children. The masks are not medical grade, but are washable and reusable and come in a choice of fabric patterns.
Chrome Industries are providing customers with the option to give or get 20% off everything on their website until 15 April. They’ve partnered with the One Fair Wage Emergency Fund to get 100% of all donations to restaurant workers, delivery workers, personal service workers and more. At checkout use the code GIVE20 to donate or GET20 to save.
From now through to 20 April, Igloo Coolers will be donating 100% of profits from every Playmate Cooler sold on their website to the CDC Foundation Cornonavirus Response Fund to support state and local health departments.
Bespoke Post have launched their Support Small initiative, with a commitment to buy $10 million worth of products from small businesses and emerging brands to help support them financially through these challenging times. If you are a small brand or manufacturer, or know one, you can learn more and get in touch here.
Blue Alpha Gear, Cole-TAC and The Brown Buffalo have teamed up to make non-medical-grade face masks for medical professionals and first responders. The masks are donated to healthcare facilities and the sewers are paid for their time. The business owners are paying for the materials themselves. You can help out by donating to their Operation Face Mask fundraising campaign to help fund mask manufacturing.
From now through to 30 April, $50 from the sale of every AMR backpack will be donated to @thescarletrunner, a Lancaster, PA based caterer who has provided over a thousand free meals to people in need since the COVID-19 outbreak. You can also donate directly to the Scarlet Runner via their website or purchase home delivery meals if you’re local to Lancaster PA to help them out.
HMPL Design are making non-medical-grade cotton face masks and providing them free of charge to healthcare professionals and frontline workers in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. For everyone else, Gore-Tex masks are available to purchase, with most of the funds used to purchase more mask-making supplies and some used to help keep HMPL Design afloat financially. The masks are made of Gore-Tex and are machine washable.
DEFY are offering a ‘Ships in 3-4 Weeks’ pre-order for a tee with a good cause. A percentage of proceeds will go to support Chicago’s homeless through Giveashi*t whose mission is to help Chicago’s homeless community. The purchase will also help support DEFY’s team, along with Los Angeles t-shirt makers Bella + Canvas.
Western Rise are running their awesome gift card deal (get a $50 gift card for every $100 spent) to help keep the team employed. They’re also working with their LA factory to produce reusable masks (details announced soon).
Arc’teryx has collaborated with local health authorities and key neighboring manufacturing and design partners to prototype and develop a medical gown to address current shortages. In the coming days a team of sewers, engineers, sample and pattern makers will create Arc’teryx’s first production of 500 Level 3 certified gowns to help tackle shortages faced by local healthcare workers. They plan to ramp up production of medical gowns at Arc’One in two weeks’ time once necessary production materials have been received.
Arc’teryx are also running an Unsung Heroes campaign, where people can highlight groups and organizations of unsung heroes in their community who deserve recognition for going above and beyond in these tough times. Arc’teryx will select 100 of the most inspiring stories and send each group a bundle of Atom LT Hoodies as a thank you.
Bellroy have launched their ‘Everyday Heroes’ campaign where people can nominate their everyday heroes and celebrate the small things that people do which make a big difference to others. Bellroy will gift one person a day for 30 days with a Classic Backpack Plus, Classic Pouch and Notebook Cover Mini and Pen. Nominations close on 30 April.
Joshu+Vela have halted bag production for now to instead make reusable cotton masks through Joshu.org. And your support can help them keep making masks and getting them to healthcare workers as soon as possible. You can make donations, all of which will go to the sewers and cover the cost of materials and shipping. And as a thank you, you can receive a gift card worth 20% of your donation amount to use at Joshuvela.com, for purchases over $100 (to be used within 90 days). Discount codes will be individually emailed.
Additionally, they have created their own reusable mask design that will be available for purchase. For each mask sold they will donate a mask to a healthcare facility. These will be added to the bulk of masks made from donations.
The Mustang Survival factory in Burnaby, BC has gone into production of their first 500 Isolation Gowns; a level 3 certified (PPE), fully waterproof gown for frontline healthcare workers. Along with local healthcare officials, they’ve collaborated with BC manufacturers and apparel companies Boardroom Clothing and KenDor Textiles to design and engineer the gown. If the first production run goes well, they will convert their local factory for dedicated gown construction.
Mustang Survival will also share the technical specifications for level 3 and level 2 medical gowns so manufacturers around the world can use them. The technical packages will be shared through the BCAG website, and will include the pattern, technical details and list of certified materials approved for level 2 and level 3 gowns.
Triple Aught Design have teamed up with Make Me PPE Bay Area to make masks and gowns, and act as a distribution center for the effort.
Know of any other brands doing good in the fight against COVID-19? Give them a shout-out below and help spread support!
And if you’d like to purchase a mask from one of these brands, check out this spreadsheet for details.