Hanesbrands Completes Production of More Than 450 Million Face Masks in Three Months
Hanesbrands Inc., Winston-Salem, N.C., has reportedly completed its planned production and distribution of more than 450 million cotton face coverings as part of a contract with the U.S. government.
Back in March, Hanes first started using its facilities to make face masks. According to the Winston-Salem Journal, Hanes has also manufactured more than 20 million medical gowns for FEMA to distribute to health care workers in hospitals and temporary treatment facilities.
Also in March, Hanes said that it planned to manufacture 1.5 million masks per week at a facility outside the U.S. The Winston-Salem Journal reported that, at its peak of production, Hanes was producing about 40 million per week.
With the threat of PPE shortages, especially early on, reusability was a main concern. Hanes said that its long-sleeve cotton gowns made for FEMA distribution are “splash-resistant” and washable.
“We are proud of the commitment of our employees and our ability to quickly pivot to large-scale production of face coverings and face masks to meet important needs during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Michael Haircloth, Hanes’ group president for global operations, American casual wear and e-commerce. “In just three months, we were able to go from never having produced face masks to making more than 450 million government face coverings, designing and developing branded programs of high-quality comfortable nonmedical face masks for consumers, and safely and responsibly reopening operations to support our core innerwear and activewear businesses.”
While Hanes’ output is staggering, it’s hardly alone in this endeavor, as may other apparel companies have used their manufacturing capabilities to create PPE. Heck, it’s why there are some health care professionals in the PA/NY/NJ tri-state area with Phillies pinstripes on their medical gowns.
Gildan also announced that it would likely keep the face mask production it started during the pandemic going into the foreseeable future, as masks become a part of daily life in most U.S. states throughout cautious reopenings.
It’s also been a way for apparel companies to add new business during an economic downturn. Haircloth added that face mask and medical gown production has enabled the company “to keep tens of thousands of employees in the United States and across our global supply chain gainfully employed, productive and safe during a crippling pandemic.”