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Apparel Manufacturing Takes on COVID-19 With New Products and Materials

The apparel industry is out in full force, putting its supply chain to work to get health-care workers the vital protective garments they need.

A pair of apparel and materials manufacturers has announced new product lines commissioned to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for consumers and medical personnel.

On Thursday, French interlinings maker Chargeurs announced a new brand, Lainière Santé, which will produce a full line of PPE products. These products will be manufactured globally, including in the United States, and will be available on Amazon in weeks, according to the company.

“We’re drawing on our culture of innovation, our decades of expertise and our global resources during this difficult period to ensure consumers can find the products they need and want to help protect their health now and in the future,” Angela Chan, global president of Lainière Santé and managing director and president of worldwide operations at Chargeurs, said.

Chargeurs has already been donating PPE to the local French government and to fire, police and social services organizations in Europe. Through Lainière Santé, Chargeurs will be able to offer the same products to consumers in the U.S., Chan said.

The 148-year-old French company is manufacturing 10 million face masks per week and is also involved in the production of scrubs, advanced textiles, intelligent fabrics and protective gloves and bactericidal films. It has altered a “significant portion” of its textile production toward the manufacture of PPE and is the largest supplier of such products to the French government, according to the company.

Another global manufacturer of branded and private label garments, Delta Galil similarly announced plans Thursday to produce PPE products for the medical community. The company will produce more than 1.5 million masks for European governments and emergency personnel along with the Delta European Brands subsidiary Schiesser.

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Schiesser will produce more than 1 million of these masks for distribution among the Czech and Slovakian governments as well as a German PPE company.

“Our subsidiaries in Europe have rapidly reengineered production lines to help alleviate the shortage of face masks that governments and emergency services providers are facing in the midst of this crisis,” Delta Galil CEO Isaac Dabah said.

Schiesser and Eminence, another subsidiary producing 400,000 masks a month for the French government, NGOs, local fire departments, police forces and hospital workers, recently reworked a selection of factories to produce these reusable, machine-washable face masks.

“In cooperation with our local supply partners in Europe and other industry colleagues, we’re able to increase production capacity to produce hundreds of thousands of urgently needed masks each month, answering the call from country leaders, fire departments, hospitals, police departments and the French Army, among others,” Dabah added.

Initially, Delta Galil said this was to provide PPE for employees who continue to work on site, but the company expanded production to help the public shortly afterward.

Eminence will also donate hundreds of masks to charities working toward the same goals and Delta Galil has pledged to produce masks in its Thailand facilities to help virus prevention efforts in the region.