NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Vermont Teddy Bear Company is sewing their effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by using its facility and materials already on hand to produce face masks for first responders, medical professionals and essential businesses.
Vermont Teddy Bear Company’s CEO, William C. Shouldice IV, was approached by company employees who told him about a rectangular pleated mask pattern approved by the CDC and began production within a couple of days.
“We had to just pivot and get to the mask-making immediately if we were going to have an impact," Shouldice said of the quick turnaround.
The face masks produced by the Vermont Teddy Bear Company are made out of heavy cotton with elastics that loop around the ears, providing enough protection to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Shouldice said the goal is to make sure N95 masks are available for health care workers who need them most as demand for face coverings grows.
Though teddy bear production has come to a halt, there’s no doubt the production of these face masks will provide some relief in the surge for face coverings now sought out by medical facilities, essential businesses and the general public.
“We’re living in a chaotic, fluid world right now and we’re just trying to stay afloat and do our part," Shouldice said.
Apart from their positive impact during the pandemic, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company has also contributed to the environment by producing their cuddly bears with recycled plastic that may come from a water bottle for instance. Plastic has memory which allows the bears to maintain its shape for years to come.