One thing there is no shortage of at this trying time is good deeds—and many of them are coming out of hotels, hotel companies, and suppliers to hotels. I have received many press releases about, and read elsewhere about food donations, cash donations, executives giving up their salaries, companies committing to pay their employees during the shutdown, etc. Of course there have been tens of thousands of layoffs as well but at such a dismal time it helps to grab onto glimmers of goodness and hope.
For those of you still working on the front lines of our industry, a major thank you to you. For those of you who have opened your hotels for the homeless, first responders, medical personnel, and others critical in the fight against COVID-19, thank you. I know you are risking your own health.
One story in particular caught my eye this week. Standard Textile, a company I have met with on several occasions at industry trade shows (they are not an advertiser), announced that it had restructured its supply chain to provide support for America’s frontline medical workers during the current pandemic. Standard Textile typically supplies towels, linens and more to hotels, and everything from bath towels to surgical gowns for healthcare. For weeks now, the company has been leading an urgent charge to increase production of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as gowns, face masks and face shields, in order to provide hospitals and healthcare workers in the United States with additional protection against COVID-19.
The family-owned company is converting its manufacturing operations and prioritizing the distribution of medical garments at its manufacturing and distribution facilities in the United States.
Face Masks & Face Shields
The company has pivoted and revamped its Brownsville, Texas facility to make face masks. In another facility, employees were reassigned to make face shields. And a collaboration between the company’s research and development laboratory, and its operations in Thomaston, Ga., and Union, S.C., resulted in rapidly developing a unique American version of a liquid resistant, breathable and reusable cover gown for healthcare workers.
“With American based manufacturing operations and a local rapid prototyping and innovation center, we are uniquely positioned to leverage our extensive technical expertise and facilities to urgently provide needed personal protective equipment,” said Dr. Richard Hobert, Director of Development for Standard Textile. “In three short weeks, we orchestrated fabric development, material sourcing, garment fabrication, wash durability testing, and other product testing to deliver an essential reusable gown for our medical communities.”
Gary Heiman, CEO and President of Standard Textile, is fiercely committed to manufacturing as much reusable PPE and other healthcare products as possible—as quickly as possible—to alleviate the stress placed upon the healthcare industry and support the fight against COVID-19.
“My concern is we are missing urgent collaboration opportunities with federal or state governments to allow us to serve healthcare workers who are at the frontline of this crisis,” says Heiman.
It is great to see Standard Textile, and so many others, step up and show such great leadership at this very difficult time.
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