Fruit of the Loom Gears Up to Produce Protective Masks for Medical Professionals
By Jake Rossen
Not long ago, if one found themselves wearing anything made by Fruit of the Loom on their face, they were likely in a college fraternity. Now, with shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) being of great concern to health care workers coping with the influx of coronavirus cases, a number of private businesses are stepping in to help alleviate supply deficiencies. And the underwear company famous for its boxers, briefs, and bras is among them.
In a recent Facebook post, Fruit of the Loom announced they will convert production facilities to create protective masks for medical purposes. Though Fruit of the Loom did not specify which kind of masks, it's likely they will be manufacturing surgical masks that help those who wear them reduce the chances of transmitting viral illnesses. While not as effective as N95 masks, which can filter viral particles, the surgical masks are still beneficial, as they help patients and medical professionals decrease the spread of germs.
Fruit of the Loom is part of a consortium with Hanes and other clothing companies that quickly came together to establish a supply chain to produce the protective item, a plan led by leading yarn company Parkdale Mills. The group has reportedly entered into a deal with the federal government to provide up to 10 million masks per week once production ramps up, with the masks sold at market rates. The first shipments are expected midweek.
There's no word on whether the masks will sport the famous Fruit of the Loom logo, which is often incorrectly described as being a basket of fruit. (It's just a pile of fruit.)