On April 3rd we started a campaign to raise $25,000 to help jumpstart our transition from a bag factory to a mask factory - and we reached that goal in just over 2 weeks!!! With your first round of donations we converted the eqpd shop and we are now making masks efficiently and reliably. But we can already see the need for PPE will outpace our original estimates. The number of organizations requesting masks is growing longer by the day. We want to continue our production to provide masks for these community members.
We hope you will continue to support our efforts, so we can support others… You have already made so much possible! We are thrilled and feel fortunate that we have the shop, team and community to make it happen! Let's keep it going!
Originally posted April 3rd, 2020:
Our Washington State sewing factory is currently sitting unused - closed (deemed “unessential”) because of the COVID-19 crisis. We want to change that. Governor Inslee is calling on all capable businesses to step-up and help manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). With our facility and staff, we have the equipment, design expertise, and skilled technicians required to begin making masks immediately. We are trying to raise $25,000 to make 10,000 masks. All we need to begin is your financial support.
My name is Jonathan Baker, and I’m the proud owner of eqpd gear (pronounced “equipped”), a small manufacturing business located in rural Twisp, WA. For the past 25 years, I have designed and manufactured close to 100 different products, from helmets and sporting goods to my current project, the LastBag - a made in WA, lifetime reusable grocery bag. Like nearly everyone we know, our family-owned shop is being severely impacted by COVID-19, as we’ve had to close our doors to the public, lay off employees, and watch sales disappear, all in just a few days.
However, when the first case hit our community last week, I realized the goal during this pandemic was not only about saving businesses – it was about protecting the lives of our healthcare workers, EMT’s, neighbors and friends.
That’s why eqpd is switching efforts from retail-mode to protection-mode: As a member of the Industrial Fabrics Association, we are quickly sourcing materials to create PPE (Personal Protective Equipment, aka Surgical Masks and Shields), using the designs approved by Infectious Disease at Central WA Hospital and Kaas Tailored's 100 Million Mask Challenge. Our business has 2,200 sq/feet with the automated cutting equipment, industrial machines and skilled employees that can speed up production and knock out PPE faster than anyone in the area.
Here's the thing: I can't do this on my own. As you might expect, the materials to create PPE are not free, and I don't have the resources to convert our bag factory to a mask factory - so I'm asking for your help. We need to raise $25,000 to make 10,000 masks that will be donated to partners in our state. Each mask will average $2.50 in cost. A $10 donation will sponsor 4 masks, $100 = 40 masks, $1000 = 400 masks... Your donation now makes this all possible and every bit counts!
Here’s our plan
Part 1: Manufacturing
eqpd will manufacture 7,500 reusable cotton and non-woven surgical masks, start-to-finish, to donate to Okanogan County health providers and the partners listed below.
Part 2: Surgical Mask Kits
We will also cut and assemble 2,500 "Surgical Mask Kits" (precut fabric and elastic)to assist home volunteer sewers in the area. These kits can be ordered through Methow Valley PPE Sewers & Okanogan County Covid-19 crafters and sewers.
Part 3: Outreach
We seek to help our local community, but we have the capacity to help yours, too. If you are interested in getting masks for your hospital, healthcare workers or exposed/vulnerable individuals email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you in line for the next batch.
Thank you for supporting eqpd, Methow Valley PPE and Okanogan County Covid-19 crafters and sewers. Stay home, stay healthy, give generously. Your donation will help protect all our communities.
Current Partners Include:
Family Health Centers
Fire District #6
Glover St Market
Hanks Harvest Foods
Methow Valley School District
Mid Valley Hospital
Okanogan County Jail
Okanogan County Sheriff's office
Okanogan Emergency Management
Pardners - Winthrop
Pateros Brewster Community Resource Center
Ruby Slippers Farms
Three Rivers Hospital
Twisp Post Office
Winthrop Post Office
- Mary Moseley
- Anne Eckmann
- Susan Crampton