A company that normally manufactures gis and other athletic gear is now shifting a large portion of their focus to produce thousands of facemasks to help combat the coronavirus epidemic.
Origin USA, which is based in Maine, is using their resources and tools to sew thousands of face masks that they hope can support medical staff, essential workers, and the rest of the public as people across the world deal with a shortage of protective face coverings. The company developed the Defender (a.k.a. DEF or Discipline Equals Freedom) mask in just 48 hours in response to the growing threat of the coronavirus. They made the necessary changes to their production line on March 22, and they’re now producing thousands of masks every day.
The DEF mask is designed for washable, reusable protection as a breathable and comfortable sleeve for a filter. For example, if you suspect you’re sick and want to avoid contaminating other surfaces through tiny drops of saliva when you cough, you can insert a clean piece of fabric (such as rags from a t-shirt) into the mask to catch larger particles. The company says they don’t have what they need to produce the N95 masks that hospital and emergency workers desperately need, but the DEF masks can hopefully provide an extra layer of protection for those who want it.
Since announcing the endeavor, Origin told the Daily Bulldog that they’ve received over 17,000 donation requests. They’re now producing over 3,000 masks per day and hope to dramatically increase that number by next week, sending the masks to places like nursing homes, veterans’ groups, and law enforcement branches.
You can purchase masks for yourself or someone else here, and watch the video below to learn more about the masks: