Chicago-based A. Lava & Son Co. has joined with other U.S. furniture, bedding and apparel companies and their suppliers to manufacture face coverings and other protective equipment. They are helping fill the worldwide shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic and getting protective equipment into the hands of healthcare personnel, first responders and people everywhere.
“A. Lava & Son is honored to transition our manufacturing services into manufacturing face coverings, mattresses and other needed items to help protect the public at this difficult time,” said Steven Appelbaum, chief executive officer of A. Lava & Son. “Our family business has a legacy of working locally and globally, and we’re proud to be contributing our expertise as part of this national initiative.”
A Lava has transformed its U.S. manufacturing plants, totaling 400,000 square feet, to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and is producing first responder-grade personal protective equipment. These include face coverings at a rate of 100,000 to 150,000 per week; mattresses at 400 to 800 per day, including residential, hospital and dorm mattresses, toppers and cots for temporary sleeping and for shelters; and other customizable PPE products.
The company’s efforts are part of a public/private partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and privately held businesses.
Participating companies use special cotton fabric developed by HanesBrand/Parkdale Mills, which has been approved by HHS. A. Lava activated a staff of 200 sewers, automated cutting equipment operators, pattern designers and engineers to produce gear and other items needed by local, state and federal interests.
The Chicago facility manufactures products for clients in the United States. Its sewing plant in Haiti, totaling 80,000 square feet, currently is one of 12 facilities authorized by the Association of Industries of Haiti, a public utility, to manufacture protective equipment for international clients.