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VIDEO: How the Military Prepared Trinidad Garcia for Designing During a Pandemic

As a Marine who comes from a long line of service members, Trinidad Garcia has always valued serving his country. And as the founder of men’s denim brand Trinidad3 Jeans, he continues to do just that.

The L.A.-based brand was one of the first to pivot production from jeans to face masks at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. In just seven days, the team produced 20,000 masks for hospitals in need.

Rivet caught up with Garcia to learn how the team made the seamless transition and provided essential services when the country needed them most.

“Just like when we were in service, there were a lot of challenges we faced, but we didn’t stop,” said Garcia. “We actually ran toward the fire; toward the danger. That’s just what we’re trained to do.”

That wasn’t the only comparison Garcia drew to his experience in the military. Quarantine, he said, was much like his days on ship, when he was forced to get creative to pass the time in a useful way.

“[Quarantine] felt like being in service again,” he said. “I just took the time to be more creative, see what’s going on and design toward the zeitgeist of the time. It was a test of who we were, who we are and what we stand for.”

The brand is about to launch a new Made in USA collection with Vidalia Mills that will reflect society’s passionate demand for purposeful fashion.

“It’s really hard to look out too far into the future because we don’t know what the future holds,” said Garcia. “But we can control what we’re doing now. And a big part of that is sustainability of our people and staying true to our mission, which is powering veterans.”

Click here to watch more ‘Design Sessions,’ Rivet’s new video series featuring creative leads in the denim industry.