The Hanes clothing company will start making face masks for health professionals dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
The company said that production is being converted to make cotton masks that have been approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use. Hanes is making the masks under contract with the US federal government.
“By way of example, Hanes … [is] retrofitting manufacturing capabilities in large sections of the plants to produce masks and they’re in the process right now,” Trump said at Saturday’s coronavirus task force briefing.
In a statement, the company said:
“The company has joined a cooperative consortium of other major apparel manufacturers led by Parkdale Mills America that are dedicating manufacturing capacity to meet the U.S. need for masks during the COVID-19 crisis. The company’s supply chain and product development experts created technical product specifications, including product chemistry, and samples of cotton masks in coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that were approved by the FDA. HanesBrands has shared those specifications and patterns with the other companies in the consortium that are ramping up the production of masks. The dedication and expertise of HanesBrands supply chain employees allowed the company to progress from preliminary discussions with federal officials to product development, approval and startup of production in less than one week, a remarkable feat. The company expects to ramp up to the production of 1.5 million masks weekly, and the consortium as a whole is expected to ramp up to the production of 5 million to 6 million masks weekly using HanesBrands’ design and patterns. HanesBrands is using cotton yarn spun made from U.S.-grown cotton by its partner Parkdale Mills America. HanesBrands is using the yarn to make cotton fabric in its large textile manufacturing plants in El Salvador and the Dominican Republic. The company is using the fabric to make the masks to specification in company-owned sewing facilities in El Salvador, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. The textile and sewing plants are being converted from the manufacturing of T-shirts, underwear, socks, and fleece sweatshirts/sweatpants. HanesBrands is one of the largest producers of basic apparel in the world, and unlike most apparel brands, the company self-manufactures the significant majority of its products. In addition to Parkdale Mills America, HanesBrands is working closely with Fruit of the Loom, SanMar, Beverly Knits, the National Council of Textile Organizations, and other apparel companies to share product specifications and patterns for the FDA-approved masks.”