From Tents To Gowns; How One Asheville Manufacturer Is Stepping Up During COVID-19

Jun 10, 2020

Opie Way from Diamond Brand Gear, sewing medical gowns to help Asheville healthcare facilities during COVID-19

It is often said that true character is revealed in the toughest of times (and 2020 has certainly presented its fair share of challenges so far). Do you step up to the plate or sit on the sidelines? For one Asheville-based manufacturer, this was not even a question, as its team jumped in full force to help produce vital medical supplies for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Diamond Brand Gear is proud to be one of a number of local manufacturers joining this call to action,” the company posted on their social media.

Diamond Brand Gear logo

Founded in 1881, Diamond Brand Gear manufactures “craft gear”—durable outdoor and mountain lifestyle goods for camping enthusiasts, “glampers,” – and such organizations as the Boy Scouts of America, Biltmore Estate, and the U.S. Military. With over 138 years of craftsmanship, innovation, and care, Diamond Brand has a vast history of stepping up during a crisis, even supplying tents and other materials for the military in both World Wars. So, when approached by the Carolina Textile District to help cut and sew much-needed medical gowns for local healthcare facilities, the answer was obvious.  

Diamond Brand Gear team in Asheville

“We definitely wanted to be involved,” said Bradlee Hicks, Marketing Director for Diamond Brand Gear. “Everyone on our team was very excited about it.”

The company shifted part of its operations to PPE (personal protective equipment) production to help fight the global pandemic in a large-scale manufacturing capacity. By taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of their employees, their crafts team was able to produce 4,000 medical gowns for facilities in the area and in the state.

Allie Durr standing in front of the boxes of over 4,000 medical gowns that Diamond Brand Gear produced in Asheville to help during COVID-19

While the state of North Carolina reopens, lifting its COVID-19 restrictions, Hicks hopes to continue aiding the community’s needs as called upon or seen fit. “We are going to do as much as we can to serve the needs of our community,” said Hicks regarding Diamond Brand’s ongoing efforts. In the meantime, the company is excited about being able to outfit the many individuals and families flocking to the outdoors for vacations. “This could be a very positive cultural shift, renewing interest in sustainability and preservation as more people connect with nature,” said Hicks. “It may mirror the positive momentum of the 70s.”

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Friday Services is proud to partner with Diamond Brand Gear and assist in their production efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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