Today is Friday… Time for some positive news. In the Pacific Northwest, Dakine has made good use of his resources throughout this time of trying to create medical-level protections for those on the front lines who are battling the current pandemic. We quickly reached out to Dakine Marketing Director Colleen Quigley and Chico Bukovansky’s Vice President of Sales for a little more information.
How did this initiative come about?
Colleen: Our essential health care and workforce are putting their health at risk for all of us. We all know the supply chain and availability of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is currently very challenging and Dakine quickly realized that we have enough talent and resources to act and can turn to manufacturing masks and gowns to help local hospitals. It’s not a large-scale production, but the ball is rolling and we’re doing what we can… We will create as much as we can with our internal supplies and resources, as long as the supply chain for PPE equipment remains stressful.
Chico: We don’t have a quantity target but at the moment it looks like we have enough material to build 5-6,000. Then it depends on the material supply because we have looked to the future.
We are also preparing cotton mask making kits that we will likely provide to the local community for home mask sewing kits, all of which have been pre-cut.
How difficult is it to switch operations from conventional products to the manufacture of masks and gowns?
Colleen: We’re lucky to have two great and talented people in the house – Reynaldo and Lone – behind stereotypes and machines. These two are making all the masks by hand. We’re not set to produce on a large scale, but they produce incredible results that these two can do.
Chico: It’s pretty easy for us. The facility here is mainly a prototyping/modeling facility so they make a variety of products from gloves, gloves and headgear. It’s not a kind of production line system. The boys were very happy with it and enjoyed their change to the model and made some minor improvements to the process if possible.
And the connection to medical grade materials?
Colleen: Initially, we will use the materials available at the office to make cotton masks. Fortunately, we found a supply of medical mask materials through Gorge Makers Collective. With those materials and our indoor capabilities, we were able to move on to making medical masks that could be washed and disinfected again. There is also a shortage of gowns and with Gorge Makers and The Refresh Workshop we are helping to stack cut Tyvek materials in large quantities for gowns so that they can be welded and fabricated at the Refresh Workshop.
Chico: It’s lucky to have the right connections.
Finally, who will you send them to?
Colleen: Right now we’re working to give our local community in and around Hood River, OR. Many of our employees have close family and friends who work on the front lines as essential and healthcare workers, both locally and nationally. Our local community is facing shortages and we are doing what we can to protect them.
We don’t know how long this will last, but at least we know there are people who are trying to help. Regarding the expansion of the effort, Chico sent to the company in an email saying: “As the project and process progress a little further, there may also be some opportunities for some volunteers to help with the project. We will tell you if this option appears and a program can be set up as we must keep the process, the distinction and the cleanliness of all steps in accordance with the rules. ”
Chico ends with, “We’re lucky to have a local community of craftsmen in the Hood River. With the surf and kite business in town, there are a lot of sewers, pattern manufacturers, etc. Other local businesses are also deeply involved in the production of visors and the manufacture of gowns. Momentum is increasing daily as well as supply requirements. Lots of community input, talent and support. ”