The unfortunate chain of events in 2020 has led to a strange demand for some items we would not have thought will be so common back in the date. The COVID-19 pandemic has infected and taken the lives of millions all around the world. Due to the unavailability of the vaccine, it is advised by the to follow the standard operating procedures to reduce the risk of being exposed to the virus. The standard operating procedures include wearing a mask at all times, washing your hands thoroughly, and avoiding crowded place. This surge in demand resulted in a shortage back in March and April, which was greatly dealt with by numerous businesses, including H&M and GAP Inc., who started making masks to satisfy the demand and help people fight against the pandemic. This transition was smooth for most types of businesses, but the clothing brands had a slight edge as they were already operating in similar products.
Types of masks
Two common types of masks are a simple piece of cloth that covers the nose and mouth and the 3-ply. The 3-ply is made with fluid-resistant material, which helps filter out airborne pathogens and comes in various levels, including medical. The medical 3-ply mask is the type of mask recommended for use by the medical experts and front-line workers.
Producing cloth masks
It is fairly easy to produce face masks made of regular cloth. It is not suitable for medical professionals and are not regulated by the FDA. Their production can be as simple as producing any other type of clothing material. The primary raw material for a basic non-medical mask is the cloth (which is usually cotton). Other than the cloth material, a sewing machine is required to stitch the ear loops on the masks. They can be of elastic materials like the ones on the surgical masks or the same cloth as the masks. This is how easy and simple it can be to make non-medical masks in various designs and colors. It requires a small area for operations, basic machinery, and labor, which should not be a significant barrier for an already operating business.
The production of masks is even simpler than it may seem. You just require simple raw materials and basic machinery to manufacture it. If you already own a place such as a factory, it is even easier for you to allocate a small area of your factory to produce face masks. The machinery and the raw materials are not costly, and these products have a good profit margin because of high demand. They don’t require any special design or pattern; as long as they meet the basic criteria of a mask, it is good to go. Conclusively, if you are already operating a small to mid-sized business, it can be a very smooth ride for you, especially if you are already operating in the clothing industry. It is a type of product with less wastage, which means the business will be operating more efficiently. So, if the initial costs of buying the equipment or land seem high for your business, the steady and growing demand for facial masks ensures a very low risk for the business. Moreover, the machinery that is required to produce face masks, such as cutting and sewing, is not exclusive equipment. It can be used for other purposes and can even be sold later. And even after a vaccine is developed, the demand for facial masks will still be there, especially the surgical ones. The medical professionals have been using it before and would still be using it after the pandemic is over.
To summarize, the production of masks is in reach for any small to mid-sized business due to low setup costs, the flexibility of the machinery of production, cheap raw materials, and a low risk of failure.