Brooks Brothers fights coronavirus by making protective equipment for health care workers

Menswear retailer joins Hanes, Neiman Marcus, Canada Goose and more retailers making medical supplies

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.

Continue Reading Below

Up to 500 Brooks Brothers employees will go back to work this week as the menswear retailer pivots production to make medical masks and gowns for health care workers on the front lines battling the coronavirus.

The menswear retailer announced Monday it will convert its factories in New York, Massachusetts and North Carolina from manufacturing ties, shirts and suits to medical masks and gowns to combat the ongoing shortage of personal protective equipment.

iStock

The New York City-based clothing company will use its facilities to make up to 150,000 masks per day to help healthcare workers at hospitals and other facilities in need battling the spread of the coronavirus.

Factory workers will return to work this week following a two-week precautionary self-quarantine, the company said. Brooks Brothers said it will also practice social distancing on-site at all facilities to protect staff.

CORONAVIRUS PROMPTS RETAILERS TO MAKE PROTECTIVE CLOTHING

"These are challenging times that are impacting us all. We are deeply grateful to the medical personnel at the frontlines who are fighting the pandemic, and we are honored to do our part and join our peers in retail to provide protective masks that our health care system critically needs," Brooks Brothers CEO Claudio Del Vecchio said in a statement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance, saying hospitals that run low on surgical masks may consider ways to reuse them or to use them over the course of an entire shift. And if hospitals run out, the CDC said, scarfs or bandanas could be used "as a last resort," however, some health officials warned cloth masks might not work.

Brooks Brothers is the latest retailer to pivot manufacturing efforts to supplies for healthcare workers. Neiman Marcus GroupJOANN Stores, Canada Goose, Nike and Hanes have also started producing non-surgical materials such as masks, gowns and scrubs.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS