More Outdoor Brands Pivot to Producing Emergency Protection Gear

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Photo: Courtesy of DPS Skis/POWDER Magazine

Times of crisis bring out our true nature. Luckily, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are increasingly seeing the best of people. Individuals, groups, non-profits, and brands are banding together in unprecedented ways. Last week a number of brands leapt into action, converting their operations to produce masks and other forms of PPE.

This week even more outdoor brands committed themselves to the cause. DPS Skis, Goal Zero, Petzl, and Eastman Machine Company partnered together to manufacture medical-grade reusable plastic face shields for the Utah Department of Public Health.

“Our entire team is proud to be contributing to the nationwide effort of PPE production. With a 15 year history of rapid prototype-to-production manufacturing, we are in a unique situation to convert a major portion of our operations to produce protective medical face shields,” said Alex Adema, DPS President and CEO.

“We are inspired by the healthcare workers who dedicate their lives to helping others. Their selfless sacrifices deserve recognition as they continue to mitigate the risk of COVID-19’s spread. We are humbled to have found ourselves in a position to mobilize this project with the passionate, soulful team at DPS and our amazing partners.”

dps skis
Photo: Courtesy of DPS Skis/POWDER Magazine

Production of the face shields has commenced at DPS Skis’ Salt Lake City factory, with the first shipment of shields expected to be delivered in the coming weeks to Utah’s medical community. The four brands have come together in a unique way to make this possible, with tooling donated by Eastman, raw materials purchased by Goal Zero and by utilizing retrofitted Petzl headlamp headbands.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is in short supply and necessary in keeping medical workers protected as they test and treat those affected by the virus.

Early this week, Vancouver-based Arc’teryx shared their team of sewers, engineers, sample and pattern makers have begun work on the production of 500 Level 3 certified gowns to help tackle the current shortage facing the healthcare workers in their own backyard. After 10 days of collaborating with local health authorities, they developed a prototype that is now in production and plan to increase production as soon as the receive more material.

The team at Dakine was able to access medical grade mask material through the Gorge Makers Collective, and have now switched to making medical grade masks that are washable, re-sterilizable at the hospitals and then reusable. To help with the shortage of hospital gowns available locally, their staff is helping stack cut bulk Tyvek material for processing into gowns at the Renewal workshop.

Additionally, Backcountry.com donated 9,000 masks to the NYC homeless population. To supplement this initial donation, Backcountry.com launched an online fundraiser where consumers can contribute to a fund that will cover the production costs for additional masks. Backcountry.com will then provide transportation and distribution services to get those masks to the front lines as COVID-19 continues to threaten communities in the U.S.

Looking for another way to help? Goggles for Docs is looking for donations. At the time of publishing, 22,448 goggles have been donated (so far) and there is still a need for 875. These numbers are changing hourly as more hospitals request goggles.

This article originally appeared on Powder.com and was republished with permission.

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