The COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered American life and exposed critical weaknesses in our healthcare infrastructure, in particular a lack of quick response of manufacturing capacity for urgent medical supplies. As part of a badly-needed national mobilization effort to re-gear our economy to provide the vital tools needed to combat the pandemic, Philadelphia-based performance apparel manufacturer Boathouse has pivoted all of its assets and facilities from its core Sports Team business toward urgently needed personal protective equipment (PPEs) for medical professionals. On April 1, the company announced that it had already inspected and packed its first pallet of masks for local Philadelphia hospitals.
Founder/CEO John Strotbeck, started Boathouse after competing in the Olympics for the USA in 1984 and 1988 with the goals of making better athletic apparel in the USA. Manufacturing elite sportswear in Philadelphia, with a focus on speed, customization, and innovation, Boathouse has outfitted high school, collegiate, professional, and Olympic teams for over 30 years. Last month, it began a brand new endeavor: working closely with medical professionals to identify how it could do its part to address the country’s PPE shortage.
“We have always been committed to doing the right thing over our three decades as a company, including manufacturing all Boathouse apparel in our vertically integrated, Philadelphia USA factory,” said Boathouse Founder and CEO John Strotbeck. “Now, we are committed to helping the medical community as much as we possibly can, using what we always have — our ingenuity, speed, and agility — to respond.”
This pivot aims to address many problems including getting the company’s employees back to work (which it’s doing while taking precautions to keep employees safe), of particular importance amid the fastest market contraction in American history, as well as providing essential medical personnel lifesaving protective supplies to ensure that doctors and nurses stay safe and healthy while they fight for the rest of us.
“Our goal now is to concurrently make isolation gowns, surgical gowns, and masks. By making the switch to medical PPE, we’ll be able to get our people safely back to work while helping with the pandemic relief effort,” said Strotbeck. “For us, it’s just the right thing to do.”
Boathouse will be sending its first deliveries to local Philadelphia hospitals this week.
For more information and updates on Boathouse’s COVID-19 efforts, please visit: www.boathouse.com/pages/covid-19