Known for its USA-made bags and accessories, Omaha, NE-based Artifact has tapped its small team of skilled artisans to craft reusable twill face masks that are being sent to medical professionals, public service workers and more. Now, brand founder Chris Hughes has detailed his thought process behind the shift in a new video produced by The Berrics and the Right Here Right Now Project.

“When you enter an absolute crisis like [the coronavirus], you quickly start to differentiate between want and need.” said Hughes. “We recognized that [Artifact] is a small product manufacturer, and there’s a shortage of masks. There’s things we can be doing. I reached out to the medical communities and said ‘look, this is what we can do. We can repair scrubs, we can make masks.’ We can do these other things.”

Hughes goes on to say “There are limitations. We cannot make an N-95 mask. It’s a very technical material and molding process, but unfortunately we’ve reached a point where all help is needed. That gave me the insight to say ‘Alright, we’re gonna go full steam ahead. We’re gonna make protective equipment that [helps] as best we can, based on the materials we can get.’ As I was telling my friends, this is like a never-ending episode of MacGyver.”

See the full video above, and if you’d like to purchase an Artifact mask they’re available now on the Artifact webstore for $18 USD.

Companies large and small are joining the mask push: New Balance has shifted its factories to a focus of producing 100,000 PPE products a week.

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