New Balance scales general-use face mask production

April 14, 2020 - United States Of America

New Balance (NB) has developed and is currently scaling production of general-use face mask as demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to intensify across the country amid COVID-19. Developed in consultation with local medical and R&D institutions, the sports footwear and sports apparel firm recently produced its first face mask prototype.

By mid-April 2020, the company’s goal is to make up to 100,000 units weekly at its Lawrence, MA, and Norridgewock, ME factories combined. NB is simultaneously advancing its current face mask design and materials specifications to ideally meet FDA requirements and achieve a product that can be confidently used by frontline medical staff who require those criteria, the company said in a media statement.

NB is approaching distribution through a combination of direct medical facility coordination and communication at the Massachusetts and Maine state levels, where its factories are located, to help customers best understand where the current face mask design fits their supply and demand needs. This is not a commercial opportunity. NB is pursuing break-even pricing and/or or donations for the face mask. This initiative has kept many of its associates proudly engaged during this economic and public health crisis while its traditional retail customers are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In parallel, NB is also quickly responding to calls for other PPE including gowns and foot coverings, among other items, with its R&D teams. This includes working towards prototypes and exploring collaborative opportunities that optimise our US-based 3D printing capabilities.