Wolford is transitioning from producing legwear and shapewear to manufacturing face masks in an effort to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
By Madeleine Crenshaw from Footwear News
The Austrian skin wear company, which specializes in tights, swimwear and slips, has rearranged production in its two factories located in Austria and Slovenia.
According to a press release, Wolford has been producing masks made from breathable, double-layered and washable fabric for free for employees and consumers in Austria and Italy since the beginning of March. Additionally, a limited number of masks are available on Wolford’s website. The brand will use the income derived from sales towards production costs and donations related to combatting the pandemic.
Wolford is among the several brands that have switched its normal means of production as COVID-19 continues to spread. Chanel, Chaco and Nike have also all announced that they will produce medical face masks and equipment as hospitals around the world face shortages of supplies.
The brand has also joined a taskforce of textile companies in Voralberg, the federal state of Austria that has been home to Wolford for 70 years. The Austrian-based taskforce is producing 200,000 face masks for medical purposes. Wolford is responsible for producing the knitted, elastic tubes that tie onto the ends of the masks. The brand will produce tubes for 8000 masks a day and handle the moulding process.
In addition to making masks, Wolford is also coordinating health care-related donations with its main shareholder, Fosun, a Shanghai-based consumer tech group that has been helping distribute medical supplies worldwide.
On March 23, Fosun distributed its fifth batch of medical supplies to Italy through its Global Anti-Virus Relief Scheme, which involved distributing 25000 items to eight hospitals in Italy’s most affected areas.
“This is just a small contribution that we, as a privileged company, can give back to our environment,” said Wolford’s CCO Silvia Azzali and COO Andrew Thorndike in a statement. “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. We are beyond thankful for the great help of our employees worldwide in these tough times and want to give back. We will work together with the medical institutions to guarantee the help will reach those most in need.”