Housewares Vendors Shift Production To Personal Protective Equipment

Several housewares vendors have shifted their production strategy amid the call for personal protective equipment (PPE) during the outbreak of COVID-19.

GelPro, a manufacturer in Waco, TX, that makes comfort mats, is now using its technology and machinery to create face shields that health care providers can use when working with possible and known coronavirus patients.

“We’re seeing a lot of cooperation between people trying to solve problems and pull together,” Robb McMahan, CEO, told the Texas Tribune. “A situation like this is bringing out the best in everyone.”

According to McMahan, he is hoping to be able to manufacture thousands of these masks per day after the delivery of raw materials makes its way to the plant.

GIR, a Novato, CA-based manufacturer of silicone kitchenware, has also shifted its production efforts and is working with its factory to produce a reloadable silicone mask to help stop the spread the COVID-19 virus (shown below).

According to the company’s website, the mask is a breathable face shield, made with the same platinum-grade, FDA and LFGB approved silicone used to make all GIR products. It is fitted with a PM2.5 filter, the same technology used in N95 masks.

“We’ve pivoted our business to manufacture reloadable silicone masks packaged with PM2.5 filters. We’ll donate as many as we can, with our own funds and on the shoulders of others’ generosity, and we’ll also start to sell these to individuals near cost so that every essential worker, their families, and beyond, has a chance at slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Samantha Rose, founder/CEO, GIR.

The company said it is planning to package each mask with 10 filters to start, and offer bulk refills too. The company is also accepting donations on its website.