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SanMar Making Much Needed Face Masks

Business switches from manufacturing T-shirts to aiding fight against COVID-19

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — SanMar Corp., an apparel and accessories supplier, reports it is part of a coalition of U.S. apparel companies working with the White House to build a supply chain to produce millions of much needed face masks.

These masks will be distributed by the federal government to support hospitals, health care workers and others battling the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Jeremy Lott, president of SanMar, was moved into action after one of his employees told him that her son, an EMT, is ill-equipped to help patients out in the field.

“She said they don’t have masks and have been advised to wear bandanas, and she is worried about him,” says Lott. “That really hit me. We want to do whatever we can do support these efforts.”

The coalition includes other iconic American-owned textile companies such as Hanesbrands, Fruit of the Loom, Parkdale Mills and five other companies that are re-tooling their manufacturing capabilities to quickly make millions of face masks each week.

“We are doing daily calls with the White House and are part of this effort as a result of our ability to make and sew textiles here in the U.S., as well as in Central America,” says Renton Leversedge, chief customer officer for SanMar. “We have manufacturing expertise and we have scale, which enables us to take part in this very important work.”

SanMar is working both to produce masks and to produce many of the textiles in its manufacturing plants in Knoxville, Tennessee and Central America in order to support the sewing operations across the coalition.