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Parkdale created branded masks for its “I Wear, I Care™” program last year.

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In October, U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.-10) met with leaders of Parkdale in Gastonia, N.C., to discuss made-in-America PPE initiatives and other issues related to the U.S. textile industry’s responsiveness to the PPE shortage during the pandemic. Photo by Devin Steele

Parkdale, Ferrara awarded federal contracts to produce 17M+ masks

Posted March 30, 2021

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Biden Administration has awarded two contracts to National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) members Parkdale Mills and Ferrara Manufacturing Inc., following through on the president’s pledge to procure millions of fully made-in-America face masks for community health centers, food pantries and soup kitchens across the country.

 

A third contract is expected to be awarded to a small business this week.

 

Parkdale Mills, based in Gastonia, N.C., is the nation’s largest cotton yarn spinner. It has partnered with Ferrara Manufacturing, a tailored clothing company based in New York City’s garment center. Ferrara’s workforce is union represented by Workers United/SEIU, to manufacture more than 17 million reusable masks.

 

The government said it could purchase up to a maximum of 22.2 million masks under the two contracts announced March 27. The masks will be Berry Amendment compliant and thus 100% U.S. made.

 

Ferrara Manufacturing and Parkdale Mills will contract with additional U.S. companies across the manufacturing supply chain, employing nearly 5,000 American workers as a result of these awards.  Parkdale will be utilizing yarn from their facilities in NC, VA, and GA and Ferrara will deploy their cut and sew operations in New York City.  Additional suppliers include:

 

  • Clover Knits (S.C.)

  • American & Efird (N.C. )

  • America Knits (Ga.)

  • Apex Elastic (N.C.)

  • Texlon Plastics (N.C.)

  • Cotswold Industries (N.Y./S.C.)

  • South Fork Industries (N.C.)

  • USC Bag (N.M.)

  • Fitessa (S.C.)

  • Unionwear (N.J.)

  • Lynda Studios (N.Y.)

  • Domoi Collection (N.Y.)

 

“The entire Parkdale team wants to thank President Biden and his administration for this opportunity to make reusable cotton face masks for millions of Americans,” said Davis Warlick of Parkdale Mills. “By procuring 100% American-made masks, we are putting thousands of workers across the United States to work to help our most vulnerable communities. We are excited to partner with Ferrara Manufacturing and are proud of our supply chain partners and their hard work to make this product crafted with pride in the United States.”

 

Gabrielle Ferrara, chief operating officer and owner, of Ferrara Manufacturing said: “This is another amazing moment for our industry to come together to produce lifesaving PPE for people who need it most. Ferrara is proud to partner with Parkdale Mills and we want to thank the administration for supporting our workforce, who have sacrificed so much during the pandemic to answer the call of the nation to produce million masks. We also greatly appreciate the strong support and partnership of Workers United/SEIU to help amplify the needs to bolster this critical supply chain.  We are honored to have this opportunity.”

 

The U.S. textile industry has produced over 1 billion lifesaving PPE and other medical products over the last year. Since the spring of 2020, both Ferrara and Parkdale have retooled their production chains to help produce millions of masks and gowns to help workers on the frontlines.

 

Early during the pandemic, at the urgent call of the Trump Administration, Parkdale helped lead an effort to build a coalition of iconic American apparel and textile companies to build a supply chain virtually overnight and fast-track the manufacturing of medical face masks to help hospitals, healthcare workers and citizens battling the spread of coronavirus. Later, the company created branded masks for its “I Wear, I Care™” program last year, wherein they designed and donated the face masks emblazoned with those words to citizens of communities where its operations are located. Parkdale gave out more than 20,000 of the face masks.

 

“We want to sincerely thank President Biden for his leadership and support of American manufacturing workers with this purchase,” said Kim Glas, president and CEO of NCTO. “We appreciate the administration’s commitment to purchase fully made in America masks and we believe this is a significant opportunity to continue to showcase our incredible domestic textile industry and all of its capabilities. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to onshore these critical supply chains long-term and we look forward to working with the administration and Congress to advance long-term policies to bolster this critical production capacity here in the United States.”

 

See press release from Workers United, an affiliate of SEIU, here.

 

Sources: NCTO and eTC

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