Brooks Brothers to convert clothing factories into mask, gown factories during coronavirus pandemic

GARLAND, N.C. -- The oldest American clothing brand is halting the production of ties, shirts and suits at some of its clothing factories in order to make masks and gowns.

The move comes as the medical community continues to deal with a shortage of personal protective equipment as more and more Americans contract COVID-19.

Brooks Brothers, a private clothier founded in 1818, is converting its New York, North Carolina and Massachusetts factories.

The North Carolina Brooks Brothers factory is located in Garland, a town in Sampson County.

The goal is to have those factories producing up to 150,000 masks per day. Gowns will also be produced, but the company did not state a daily numerical goal for them.

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Brooks Brothers' leadership said it had been in contact with federal and state officials as well as hospital systems to determine the best way the company could help with the pandemic.

"We consider this a duty, and part of our DNA at Brooks Brothers," Brooks Brothers CEO Claudio Del Vecchio said. "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."

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NOTE: The video in this article is from a previous story about NCSU making face shields for healthcare workers.
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