April 16, 2020
This Saturday, anyone in Dallas County is required to wear a mask to essential businesses. The work these local companies are doing is more important now than ever.
[Photo credits (left to right): Envision Dallas, Kendra Scott, Rosewood Corporation]
A few weeks ago, we ran a story on the growing number of North Texas fashion companies that had begun using their talents to make medical masks for the COVID-19 pandemic. The movement was largely motivated by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who put out a call-to-action for businesses to “be creative” and consider making medical supplies.
Since our original story, we’ve received an outpouring of community responses and seen a number of additional local companies, in a variety of industries, step up. Unique Software Development started producing as many as 400 respirators a day with its 3D printers. Toyota is working to mass produce 3D-printed face shields. Neiman Marcus partnered with JOANN Stores to produce masks, gowns, and scrubs for healthcare providers.
As coronavirus spreads, so does the dire need for personal protective equipment. Starting this Saturday, people in Dallas County are required to wear a cloth covering over their mouth and nose. And even as we face life after COVID-19, masks still might become a necessary social norm.
Here’s a few more Dallas-Fort Worth companies helping you stay safe (and even look good while doing it). They’ve made masks and protective material their mission for the timebeing, helping our community and those on the front line.
If you or someone you know needs to be added to the list, tell us about it.
Envision Dallas, a local nonprofit that improves the quality of life for those who are blind or visually impaired, has delivered 500 protective masks produced by its sewing department to Texas Oncology. An equal quantity was then distributed to Kansas-based Envision’s locations in 11 states across the country, along with its headquarters in Wichita.
By the end of the week, 2,000 total masks will be handed out to healthcare providers fighting the virus on the front lines.
In January, the 88-year-old Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind officially changed its name to Envision Dallas to formalize its relationship with Envision. Envision Dallas adopted Envision’s mission to provide support for the blind and visually impaired with employment, outreach, rehabilitation, education, and research. Envision Dallas now serves 11 counties in North Texas.
Wheelhouse Marketing & PR, a Mass Luminosity company located in Fort Worth, teamed up with one of its clients, Pernod Ricard’s Texas division, to start creating surgical style masks. Headquartered in Paris, France, Pernod Ricard is the second largest global producer of wines and spirits. But the Texas team partnered with Wheelhouse for the PPE project.
The project involved repurposing unused promotional t-shirts from past campaigns to create hundreds of masks for outlying smaller community hospitals.
“We are so lucky to have an incredible group of creative designers on our team that were willing to jump in and get to sewing,” Mass Luminosity CMO Julie Curtis said in a statement. “While all eyes are on some of the bigger cities, we have heard the cry of smaller, outlying hospitals and nursing homes that are desperate to get their hands-on PPE items.”
The Wheelhouse team said it delivered the first round of supplies this week, but will continue until the need is met in local communities.
To help protect first responders closest to home, the Rosewood Corporation and the Caroline Rose Hunt family are donating 6,000 face protectors to Dallas Fire and Rescue.
The “multi-shield” face protectors were produced by two of the Rosewood Corporation’s local companies: MultiCam and INW Manufacturing. Irving-headquartered MultiCam is a supplier of CNC cutting solutions and International Nutrition and Wellness Manufacturing is a Dallas pharmaceutical manufacturing company. Both repurposed their facilities and operations to design and manufacture the PPE.
The Rosewood Corporation, which is wholly-owned by the Caroline Hunt Trust Estate, is also giving 50,000 packets of single-use hand sanitizer to the Dallas Police Department.
“During this critical time, it’s more important than ever that we innovate and work together to help protect our local first responders as they put their lives on the line to keep our community safe,” Lynn Fisher, Rosewood Director of Corporate Giving, said in a statement. “The Rosewood Corporation and the Caroline Rose Hunt family are proud to serve and give back to this community that Mrs. Hunt loved so much.”
Popular Austin-headquartered jewelry maker Kendra Scott is known for its philanthropy. And since the COVID-19 outbreak, the brand has stepped up in various ways. One includes repurposing materials in the infamous KS yellow to donate to local female volunteer groups sewing masks. In total, the company aims to produce more than 4,000 masks out of of KS yellow bandanas.
And locally, the Kendra Scott Dallas team has been delivering meals to the Ronald McDonald House and dropping off gifts to workers at Children’s Health. Ronald McDonald House Charities don’t currently have enough volunteers to cook for the families staying with them, so KS has vowed to support all eight locations in Texas, including the one in Dallas.
Dallas-based sustainable fashion designer Lela Orr—who was also a recent contestant on “Project Runway” season 17—is making face masks for healthcare professionals through her brand, FERRAH.
Keeping with FERRAH’s eco-friendly mission, the masks are created using remnant fabric left over from Orr’s previous collections. So far, she’s been able to single-handedly make and deliver hundreds of masks.
Now, the masks are being sold on the FERRAH website. But, with every mask purchased, the designer has decided to donate one in the buyer’s name to those on the frontline. She calls it her “buy one, donate one” program, a personal way to cover the cost to send a mask to someone in need.
Orr is also asking for charitable donations on her website to help Dallas and the surrounding communities.