In addition to slowing sales and supply chain disruptions, backlogged inventory has been one of the biggest problems faced by apparel brands and retailers throughout the duration of the pandemic
In an attempt to weather the storm while helping out with the cause of protecting healthcare workers from COVID-19, brands like Blade + Blue is diversifying to making masks from its leftover fabrics. The company has also donated some of these masks to healthcare workers and first responders in addition to selling them to the general public.
Banana Republic and Old Navy are also donating and selling non-medical cloth face masks. The masks by Old Navy are also being made from the brand’s leftover fabric.
Earlier on in the pandemic, retailers like Joann Stores and Neiman Marcus started making masks for frontline medical personnel in light of a nationwide PPE shortage, even though at the time there were conflicting data as to the effectiveness of these cloth masks in particular situations.