Timbuk2, the San Francisco-based maker of bags and backpacks that also sells into the promotional products industry, is using T-shirts donated from local sports teams to create face masks for Bay Area organizations.
The company teamed up with NBC Sports Bay Area, which helped set up T-shirt donations from the 49ers, Sharks, Warriors, Giants, Earthquakes and Kings.
Michelle Nadaeu, head of marketing for Timbuk2, told NBC Bay Area that they can get about six masks or four bandanas from a T-shirt, so they're making both. They're also using some of Timbuk2's durable materials ordinarily used for messenger bags as trim for the masks.
We have teamed up with @nbcsauthentic, together with its team partners and sports-apparel company @Fanatics, to donate 50,000 face masks and bandanas to Northern California health care providers. #somegoodnews #timbuk2 #covid19 #maskmaking#nbcsports #nbc pic.twitter.com/8zBCmuvWjz
— Timbuk2 (@timbuk2) April 24, 2020
Timbuk2's Mission District production headquarters shut down temporarily as as a result of California's stay-at-home order, but the machines are still running on this project. The facility is currently full of administrators and volunteers cranking out face masks.
"It's kind of nice," Nadeu said. "Get out of the house, and work on a sewing machine is a great release."
The company plans to make 50,000 face masks, which will end up in the hands of Bay Area organizations such as Bay Area Community Services.
We teamed up with @timbuk2 and our teams to donate over 50,000 face coverings to groups in need #BayAreaUnitepic.twitter.com/lphz6UnGH1
— NBCSAuthentic (@NBCSAuthentic) April 24, 2020
"It fuels me now," company designer Mateo Paduano told NBC Sports Bay Area. "I think just being able to help and feel like I'm contributing to something good, that's what matters now."
Other sports-affiliated soft goods companies have been doing this amid the COVID-19 uncertainty and hardship. Fanatics first used its Easton, Pa., production facility to send masks and gowns made from Phillies and Yankees jerseys to local health care professionals. Last week it expanded the program to Ohio, sending masks and gowns made from material for Cleveland Indians jerseys to the Cleveland Clinic.
Heck, even businesses using the likeness of infamous cartel leaders (and actual cartels themselves) are creating face masks to benefit people who otherwise might not have been able to get them.
For a time when stadium seats—the ones that are usually draped with T-shirts, especially in the Bay Area—are empty, this is a good way for sports teams to show their local spirit and help the communities they entertain. And it's always good to see companies use their capabilities to make products like these.
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