Wolford transforms production to fight Covid-19
By Danielle Wightman-Stone
Mar 30, 2020
Austrian skinwear and hosiery specialist Wolford has successfully changed its entire production in its headquarters in Bregenz and factory in Slovenia from tights and bodies to face masks to support global efforts in fighting Covid-19.
Since the beginning of March, Wolford’s production facilities have been working on “full speed” to produce face masks for its employees and consumers in critical regions.
The masks are made of a double-layered high-quality breathable fabric to ensure easy breathing when they are worn and are also have a water-repellent finish to provide full coverage even against minimal moisture.
The brand has used its high-quality material and knitting techniques to create the non-medical masks, which also feature individually adaptable aluminium nose-wires and highly elastic, extra-thin bands to keep the masks in place. The masks are also washable, so are able to be reused.
The main quantity of the masks will be handed out for free to employees in highly affected areas such as Italy and Austria, explained the brand, with a limited number to be sold through the brand’s e-commerce to customers worldwide. The income achieved will be used to cover production costs and logistics and for donations to healthcare-related activities to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wolford producing face masks and joins Fosun’s global anti-pandemic campaign
Wolford has also joined a taskforce featuring different textile companies in Vorarlberg, federal state of Austria, which is producing 200,000 face masks for the use in hospitals and medical practices.
The skinwear brand is providing knitted, highly elastic tubes for the production of 8,000 masks a day and taking care of the moulding process. In addition, the Vorarlberg consortium will also produce medical FFP2 and FFP3 face masks with the support of the medical institute in Vienna.
Wolford is also joining Fosun’s global anti-pandemic campaign to support the worldwide fight against the new virus. Fosun, one of Wolford’s major shareholders, is a Shanghai-based technology-driven consumer group and they have been mobilising resources worldwide to deploy and donate medical supplies to many countries, such as Italy, Japan, South Korea, India, UK and France.
Wolford’s chief commercial officer, Silvia Azzali and chief operating officer, Andrew Thorndike, said in a statement: “This is just a small contribution that we, as a privileged company, can give back to our environment. Together with our main shareholder Fosun, we are very happy to support medical institutions in Italy and Austria. Both regions are close to our hearts as they are home to our headquarters and our sales office and main showroom; the places, where the majority of our employees live.”
On March 23, the fifth batch of medical protection supplies from the ‘Global Anti-virus Relief Scheme’ featuring 25,000 items arrived in Milan and were transported directly to 8 hospitals in Italy’s most affected areas.
Guo Guangchang, chairman of Fosun International added: “As a global enterprise, we want to do our part to help the world win the battle against novel coronavirus as soon as possible. We are deeply concerned about the health and safety of our overseas employees and customers, and we will stand firmly with the global public. I believe that with the wisdom of all mankind, as long as we unite, support and help each other, we can overcome the difficulties and overcome the virus.”
Image: courtesy of Wolford