Legacy Seattle Manufacturers Team Up to Address PPE Shortage

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We’ve seen a lot over the past 120 years and it’s safe to say the current situation we’re all facing in the midst of this pandemic is unprecedented. Top of mind for us is looking out for our workforce, our customers, and the greater Seattle community we’ve relied on since 1897. So when our neighbors at Outdoor Research came to us with a chance to join their efforts in manufacturing personal protective equipment, we got right to work. This relief project marks a rare collaboration opportunity for manufacturers in our city. Fellow Seattle-based outdoor company Feathered Friends was also tapped for the project, taking the count to three legacy manufacturers working together for one shared mission.

“Filson and Outdoor Research both have long histories of manufacturing in Seattle. Besides being close neighbors physically, less than a block apart, both of our companies’ values and commitments are aligned. When we started the project of sewing masks for those who need them the most we immediately thought of Filson.”

— Brent Zwiers,
Director of Engineering & Production at Outdoor Research

Below, we’ve outlined a few of the particulars of this project. But first, we want to extend a big “thank you” to the essential workers on the frontlines and to Outdoor Research for spearheading the initiative. Even in the face of uncertainty, we can all make a significant impact when we band together with our communities.

 

FAQ

WHAT TYPE OF EQUIPMENT IS FILSON MANUFACTURING?

ASTM Level 1 face masks. Washable fabric face masks with filter sleeve.

 

HOW MANY MASKS WILL BE PRODUCED?

50,000 face masks per week, fulfilled by Outdoor Research, with 4000-5000 per week manufactured by Filson. Additional masks, manufactured by Feathered Friends.

 

WHERE WILL THESE SUPPLIES BE DISTRIBUTED?

Outdoor Research is working with state and federal agencies for distributing face masks to medical professionals.

 

DOES OUTDOOR RESEARCH PLAN ON SELLING FACE MASKS TO THE PUBLIC?

No date has been set at this time as they address the immediate needs of first responders.

 

HOW IS FILSON ENSURING EMPLOYEE SAFETY?

With the guidance and approval of local health officials, Filson resumed limited manufacturing operations at the company’s manufacturing facility on 1st Avenue South in Seattle, Washington, on April 22, 2020. To ensure the health and safety of employees, a limited number of the manufacturing staff (13 total) will resume work at this time under compliant social distancing measures. Filson will also ensure that proper cleaning and sanitization protocols are executed throughout the facility. Filson has implemented all precautionary health and safety measures recommended by the CDC, WHO and local health officials. Such measures include, but are not limited to:

• Providing ample access to cleaning supplies and protective equipment (face coverings, gloves, sanitizer, and cleaning supplies)

• Increased ventilation and clean air circulation throughout the facility

• Health screening (temperature and symptom-related interviews) for every employee before each shift

• Increasing deep cleaning intervals across the entire facility to twice per day

• Further increased sanitization intervals for high-touch and high-traffic shared spaces

• Mandatory and enforced workstation cleaning policies and time allotments

• Employees workstations are spaced over 6’ feet apart

• Limited shift hours to 4 hours daily to avoid congestion in communal office areas.

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