By Noah Wade
Wearing a mask has become a routine part of everyday life if you’ve been out and about since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic back in early March. For most, they provide physical, and for some, mental protection from the “droplets” potentially being spread around while we leave the safety of home for groceries or medicine. However, as we have seen, the essential workers who boldly stepped up to fight this virus on the front lines have needed masks and other protective gear more than ever in order to stop the spread and contain the outbreak. Los Angeles-based clothing company Indie Source have stepped up in their own way, using their resources and skills to provide this desired protection to those who need it.
Zack Harley, co-founder and CEO of Indie Source, recognized the immediate need for his company to switch gears; “I think what we’ve done a good job of, considering that we’re a local manufacturer, is pivoting to be able to produce the kinds of products that are needed during the time of this pandemic.”, he said. Indie Source, known for its work with a plethora of clothing brands, focused on making masks, gowns and other necessary medical gear during the height of COVID-19.
Despite returning to regular day-to-day operations involving apparel, Hurley promised their contribution to the fight is not over. “If people in the community continue to need masks, we’re going to continue to donate them.”, he said. The goal was 50,000 donated masks, which Hurley says were distributed to medical personnel all over the country and more recently, to protestors during the recent Black Lives Matter protests. “Any way we can cover up people who need to be protected is something we’re excited to do.”, said Hurley
The masks themselves, dubbed “Independence” masks as a play on Indie Source’s name, have garnered extremely positive feedback from medical personnel. “They’ve been floored,” said Hurley. “They didn’t expect the masks to necessarily be of as high-quality as they are….and a lot of them are surprised at how many we’re sending.” There’s special meaning behind the name, according to Hurley who said that they “represent unity in a time of chaos.”
It didn’t take very long for colorful/elaborate designs of masks to become a trend, so Indie Source made sure to give the people what they wanted. “I think it’s another aspect of the name ‘Independence’ too,” said Hurley. “As much as it’s a unifying thing, we like to wear different styles and colors so we can feel unique too. That’s a level of independence that matters.”
With COVID-19 now spreading in other areas of the country and threats of a second wave being discussed for this upcoming fall season, the term “essential workers” has taken on a whole new meaning. “The work they do….needs to continue to be valued,” said Hurley. “What’s important is that it’s just not a blip. Not just today or this week. It’s critical that we promote the stories and the language that’s necessary for them to have their voices heard.”
Photo Credit: www.indiesource.com/independence-mask