‘America’s Oldest Retailer,’ Brooks Brothers, Is Repurposing Factories To Make ‘150,000 Masks’ A Day

(Photo: YouTube Screenshot)

Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
Font Size:

“America’s oldest retailer,” Brooks Brothers, is repurposing its factories from producing suits and ties to making “150,000 masks” a day amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“Brooks Brothers (the ‘Company’), America’s oldest retailer, today announced its response to the urgent call from the White House and other state and local leaders for medical supplies,” a message on the company’s website read Monday.  (RELATED: LIVE UPDATES: Here’s What Every State In America Is Doing To Combat The Spread Of The Coronavirus)

“The Company is in the process of converting its New York, North Carolina and Massachusetts factories from manufacturing ties, shirts and suits to now making masks and gowns,” the message added. “Brooks Brothers plans to use these facilities to produce up to 150,000 masks per day on an ongoing basis, to help increase access to protective gear for health care workers and others battling the spread of COVID-19 at the nation’s hospitals and other facilities. The company will also be producing gowns.”  (RELATED: REPORT: Coachella Potentially Rescheduled To October Due To Coronavirus Fears)

“We consider this a duty, and part of our DNA at Brooks Brothers,” Chief Executive Officer Claudio Del Vecchio shared in the statement. “These are challenging times that are impacting us all. We are deeply grateful to the medical personnel at the frontlines who are fighting the pandemic, and we are honored to do our part and join our peers in retail to provide protective masks that our health care system critically needs.”

“I also want to thank our dedicated manufacturing employees who are returning to work as we reopen our factories to make this possible,” he added.

The message on the retailer’s website noted that for the last 200 years, the company has been there to help out in from “its support of the Red Cross Society in 1898 –to crafting U.S. military uniforms from the Civil War through today.”

The message continued by noting production on the masks and gowns will get underway right away as their employees will be coming back to work “following a two-week precautionary self-quarantine.”

“The Company is closely following public health guidance and will enforce federal guidelines for sanitation and social distancing on-site at all facilities to protect employees,” the statement concluded.

Not long after the post appeared,  Ivanka Trump tweeted about it, and praised the company for “answering the ⁦‪@WhiteHouse‬⁩’s call to action” during the pandemic.

“Effective immediately, Brooks Brothers will produce 150,000 masks per day to protect those on the frontlines battling the spread of #COVID19,” the first daughter wrote. “Thank you Claudio DelVecchio for answering the @WhiteHouse’s call to action!”

Brooks Brothers joins a growing list of manufacturers and companies in the country and the world repurposing their factories to make much needed medical supplies during the pandemic.