Fashion Tech Company Pivots On-Demand US Manufacturing Platform to Help Face Mask Shortage Amid Covid-19 Pandemic
NEW YORK — On-demand manufacturing platform N.A.bld (pronounced “enabled” NAbld.com), a venture-backed SaaS company, announced their initiative to manufacture fabric face masks for frontline workers amidst a national shortage of PPE in the Covid19 pandemic. Beginning March 21, 2020, N.A.bld mobilized their network of partner small-batch manufacturers around the USA to begin production of cotton face masks. Through the N.A.bld platform manufacturers and sewing hobbyists can access a full tech pack for a fabric face mask, step-by-step instructions, a printable pattern, and support resources free of charge so masks can be made in the safety of one’s home.
The initiative started after cofounder and CEO Amanda Curtis’ husband, a doctor on the frontline of the COVID19 pandemic, was informed by the CDC to be prepared to bring a bandana to work as national supply of N95 and sterile surgical masks diminish. Within two days of receiving that information, an N.A.bld prototype and pattern based off of the Deaconess Hospital Mask was created and launched on N.A.bld with the digitized pattern.
Through nabld.com/make-a-face-mask site manufacturers and sewing hobbyists across the USA can sign up to join the manufacturing partner labor force and centers of care can also submit requests for masks. Within three hours of launching over eight thousand masks were requested by hospitals. Since launch over 17,000 masks have been requested from care centers around the country from nursing homes, hospitals, fire stations, and urgent care centers.
“Just as the American fashion industry came together in WWII to sew uniforms for soldiers, we are mobilizing the apparel industry to come together to protect our front line in this war against COVID19. The difference is that we’re able to use our technology to achieve the same goal at scale while keeping everyone isolated and safe. N.A.bld was built for just-in-time decentralized, on-demand manufacturing and I’m glad that we’re able to provide a solution that can mobilize our nation’s workforce of sewers and manufacturers,” said Co-Founder and CEO Amanda Curtis.
Within a day of launching the initiative Fabric.com, an Amazon company, generously offered to donate cotton materials and ship direct to participating production facilities across the U.S. from their warehouse in Georgia.
To help fund production costs, a “Buy one, Give Many” campaign was launched on N.A.bld’s sister site, the pre-sale marketplace NineteenthAmendment.com. The public can purchase a facemask for themselves while donating facemasks to centers of need in quantities of 5, 10, 50, 100, or 1,000. It is the company’s hope that by giving the public access to fabric face masks that they will donate any N95 and surgical masks to hospitals in need. This is a 100% not-for-profit initiative with all proceeds going towards the creation and distribution of masks. Donors can monitor their impact on nabld.com/make-a-face-mask where progress is tracked daily in the “Updates” section.
N95 and sterile surgical masks are the first option for PPE. Many hospitals are now having staff use one N95 mask per staff member per shift. The fabric face masks can be used on top of N95 and surgical facemasks to prolong the use of these masks. Facilities that receive fabric face masks are instructed to wash and sterilize these masks upon receiving them before they are used.
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MORE ABOUT N.A.bld
N.A.bld It is a production management tool that enables sustainable pre-selling and on-demand quick turn manufacturing for brands. N.A.bld software has been powering the pre-sale marketplace NineteenthAmendment.com for years, enabling inventory-free retailing and making sustainable collaborations with brands like Macy’s, Disney, Microsoft, and Bravo’s Project Runway. Through the N.A.bld platform brands can digitize their tech packs, connect with a network of vetted, USA-based manufacturers to get bids, create automatic purchase orders and bills of materials, visualize per unit and per run costs, and communicate with manufacturers throughout the process. Additionally, brands can choose to include customers in the manufacturing process through automatic updates sent straight from the real-time production timeline.