When schools and day cares around the world began shutting their doors due to COVID-19, the sewing machines that once tailored brightly colored play climbers, soft jumbo blocks and bean bags at the Children’s Factory in Union quickly began sharing production time sewing personal protective equipment.
In early March, when the Children’s Factory team realized the shortage of masks, it sprang into action. Designers immersed themselves in the subject of PPE face coverings to determine the optimal sizes, materials and functionality.
The operations team set forth a plan to produce the highest quality parts in the shortest amount of time, taking advantage of automatic cutting equipment and professional skilled sewing operators.
Meanwhile, the sales team worked tirelessly, corresponding with organizations and essential workers in need.
In less than a week, PPE products were packed and ready for shipment.
“The team has really come together to pivot quickly and provide what the community needs at this time,” said Jason Donovan, vice president of operations. “Everyone jumped in and did their part to make this happen. Children’s Factory is a great representation of pride in U.S. manufacturing and really stepped forward in this time of need.”
Donovan said the face coverings are not replacements for the N95 surgical masks, but are appropriate for asymptomatic nonmedical personnel, thus reserving the desperately needed N95 inventory for those working near or directly with COVID-19 patients.
There are a variety of face coverings available in both adult and youth sizes. A popular style is made from a multiple layer, nonwoven polypropylene material with either tie straps or elastic ear loops.
Another style, specifically for children, is made of fun cotton prints. A third style, for both adults and children, is a simple nonsewn version that can be shipped in mass quantities, right off the cutting table.
Donovan said Children’s Factory is committed to providing personal protective equipment options for as long as society is in need.
Face coverings are currently being shipped throughout the United States and Canada with additional destinations on the horizon.
Children’s Factory LLC is a subsidiary of Excelligence Learning Corporation, a leading provider of educational tools and solutions to early childhood teachers and parents, has been the preferred supplier of early-education equipment for nearly 40 years.
The soft-play products company was founded on the belief that children learn and develop through the power of play.
After years of steady growth, Children’s Factory’s product line evolved to include preschool wood furniture, rest-time products, commercial trikes, play carpets and more.