Two Canadian companies announced today that they are leveraging production and business to help the healthcare industry take on the coronavirus crisis.
Luxury apparel maker Canada Goose said it will use its manufacturing facilities to begin production of medical gear for healthcare workers and patients across Canada. Canada Goose will begin making scrubs and patient gowns, which the country is short on, with plans to distribute them to hospitals next week.
The production is slated to go on at Canada Gooses factories in Toronto and Winnipeg. The company is open to extending production to additional facilities, but as of now, approximately 50 employees per facility will work to manufacture gear with an initial goal of producing 10,000 units.
“Across Canada, there are people risking their lives every day on the frontlines of COVID-19 in healthcare facilities, and they need help,” Canada Goose president & CEO Dani Reiss said in a news release. “Now is the time to put our manufacturing resources and capabilities to work for the greater good. Our employees are ready, willing and able to help, and that’s what we’re doing. It’s the Canadian thing to do.”
Canada Goose has also established an employee support fund as of last week, designed for helping employees who are affected by store and factory closures and ineligible for government assistance. Reiss announced that he will forego his salary for at least the next three months, steering that money to the support fund.
Elsewhere in Canada, Vancouver-based clean energy company Portable Electric announced that it is shifting production of its VOLTstack power station product line to offer battery electric power for healthcare and emergency services.
VOLTstack has previously been used in attempts to help during crises. In 2018, the company sent VOLTstack units and solar panels with trained technicians to help in relief efforts after Hurricane Florence.
The company said it will manufacture VOLTstack units specifically for medical use, using heightened engineering and manufacturing efforts to offer quality, uninterruptible power sources.
“Traditionally the VOLTstack product line has been used in the film and events industry, but we know it can help medical facilities and emergency medical locations in these challenging times,” Portable Electric founder & CEO Mark Rabin said in a news release. “A single VOLTstack can power multiple ventilators for 24 hours with pure sine wave power.”
The company said it is speaking with medical facility authorities in the Pacific Northwest and has a distributor network in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, along with a new distributor in Washington.
“We know from experience that, in a crisis, power is not always the first thing people think of — until it’s not there, or not reliable. Then it is critical,” Rabin added. “The reality is that in a crisis you need reliability. Our product is built to the highest spec and for the toughest industries. It can provide power indoors, outdoors, and where there’s limited or no existing power. We know it will help during this critical and challenging time.”