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Greenville Business Magazine

Greenwood Mills Switches from Denim to Masks

Apr 06, 2020 11:16AM ● By David Dykes

Greenwood Mills said its denim jeans production has switched to non-medical grade masks and hospital gowns to support conservation efforts of personal protective equipment (PPE) by front-line healthcare workers in the battle against COVID-19.

“Our company has been weaving fabrics for more than 125 years and has been supported by our community for just as long. Now, when our community is in need, we knew we had to help,” said Jay Self, president and CEO of Greenwood Mills. “We are honored to be able to offer employment options to our sewers and serve as a resource during this public health crisis. If it helps even a little bit on both fronts, we’re happy.”  

A recent drop in retail sales of denim, coupled with the growing awareness of COVID cases close to home became the impetus for Self and his company to make the production switch, company officials said.

“Within days of making the switch, we had our first order with Self Regional (Medical Center) and shipped on March 30,” Self said.  

The first full week of production will result in about 30,000 masks, company officials said.

At full capacity, the company will produce 500,000 masks and 300,000 gowns per week, with flexibility depending on product demand. 

The masks are made of two-ply polyester cotton, with a 100 percent polyester fusible lining holding them together, giving three layers of protection, company officials said.

The masks come in three sizes: small, medium, and large, with either elastic or tie straps. The gown is made on one-ply 65/35 poly cotton twill with a water repellent application, the officials said.

Greenwood Mills is a family owned textile company located in Greenwood, SC.  It is the largest American supplier of spun nylon/cotton fabrics to the US military.

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