Making masks for all.
June 9, 2020 – New Balance proudly announced today that it has produced more than one million general-use face masks for the healthcare community since the brand began production in late March. Starting today, New Balance will offer a newly designed face mask for sale to the general public, called the NB Face Mask V3. In the coming weeks, NB also plans to sell an athletics-ready face mask.
“We are incredibly proud and humbled to do our part to help so many in our healthcare community by producing more than one million masks in the past two months,” says Dave Wheeler, Chief Operating Officer. “We are thankful that the innovative thinking of our associates, our long history of domestic manufacturing and the work of our highly skilled teams in our factories have allowed us to quickly adapt to help meet the immense mask needs of the healthcare community, and now the general public.”
Developed in consultation with local medical and R&D institutions, a team of industrial engineers and designers worked to produce NB’s first face mask prototype within 12 days, and by late April, production of two general use masks was scaled to a total of approximately 100,000 units per week between two New Balance factories located in Lawrence, MA and Norridgewock, ME. Assembly of the NB Face Mask V3 will take place in our Lawrence, MA factory.
The new NB Face Mask V3 is a 3-layer, lightweight and breathable, non-sterile physical barrier face mask with moldable nose piece. The three layers consist of a combination of polyester/TPU, suede polyester fabric, a polyurethane filtration foam and nylon tricot. The NB Face Mask V3 is washable, secures with over-ear loops and will be sold in packs of three for $24.99 on newbalance.com. Available for sale on June 9th.
Made shoes yesterday. Making masks today.
April 2, 2020 – New Balance has developed and is currently scaling production of a general-use face mask as urgent demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to intensify across the country. Developed in consultation with local medical and R&D institutions, New Balance produced its first face mask prototype less than a week ago. By mid-April, our goal is to make up to 100,000 units weekly at our Lawrence, MA and Norridgewock, ME factories combined. We are simultaneously advancing our current face mask design and materials specifications to ideally meet FDA requirements and achieve a product that can be confidently used by frontline medical staff who require those criteria.
New Balance is approaching distribution through a combination of direct medical facility coordination and communication at the Massachusetts and Maine state levels, where our factories are located, to help us best understand where our current face mask design fits their supply and demand needs. This is not a commercial opportunity. NB is pursuing break-even pricing and/or or donations for the face mask. This initiative has kept many of our associates proudly engaged during this economic and public health crisis while our traditional retail customers are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In parallel, New Balance is also quickly responding to calls for other PPE including gowns and foot coverings, among other items, with our R&D teams. This includes working toward prototypes and exploring collaborative opportunities that optimize our U.S.-based 3D printing capabilities.
We are proud to combine the industrial R&D expertise and innovative thinking of our associates with our domestic manufacturing resources to work to solve new and extraordinary product challenges, reflecting our brand’s purpose-driven culture and leveraging our skilled American workers in our New England factories.