In normal times, Merrow is a large domestic manufacturer of “soft goods” (from lingerie to bullet-resistant vests) and Merrow Sewing Machines (inventors of the overlock stitch). Earlier this year, in response to U.S. needs for PPE for the COVID-19 pandemic Merrow was inspired to pivot their expertise and produce millions of medical isolation gowns.
With the dramatic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, overall demand for PPE in the U.S. significantly exceeded the available supply. “Manufacturing in the U.S. has always been important, but never more so than these past months when the U.S. has seen the impact of unprecedented demand based on the coronavirus pandemic. Merrow, a brand whose heritage lies deeply and proudly in its domestic manufacturing capabilities, was able to mount a scalable plan for PPE on the heels of numerous public and private partnerships that have been created over the past decade,” said Charlie Merrow, CEO of Merrow Manufacturing & Merrow Sewing Machine Co.
One-time competitors, DuPont and Merrow quickly engaged in a strategic partnership: DuPont moved hundreds of thousands of yards of Tyvek® material to Massachusetts, where Merrow began producing isolation gowns at scale only one week after quarantine was ordered.
“With time of the essence, states moved faster than health care companies to issue long-term contracts for supply and Merrow partnered with those moving most decisively (Massachusetts and Rhode Island). Simultaneously, some companies in the private sector were more agile than others, and DuPont quickly became a strategic partner for materials, despite Merrow and DuPont being early direct competitors in the 1800s in the manufacturing of gunpowder. In early April, DuPont moved millions of yards of Tyvek® material to Massachusetts, where Merrow began producing isolation gowns at scale only one week after quarantine was ordered.”
“Since the COVID-19 crisis began, DuPont employees have been working around the clock to provide protection to those who are protecting us through the pandemic. We are proud to be collaborating with companies like Merrow, that are equally committed to finding innovative solutions and delivering Tyvek® protective apparel to the frontline responders who need it most. Although this is the first time we have worked directly with Merrow, they have played a pivotal role in our DuPont Personal Protection business for years as they invented the overlock stitching machine which, to this day, plays a key role in nearly all Tyvek® protective apparel manufacturing,” said David Domnisch, Global Business Leader, DuPont Personal Protection.
Today, 50 days into the crisis, with support from its partners, primarily DuPont, Merrow has shipped medical isolation gowns to more than 100 hospitals, assisted living facilities, EMS organizations, dental offices, health care centers, addiction treatment facilities, and state emergency hospitals.
Merrow has also established itself at the forefront of a long-term supply chain solution for USA PPE manufacturing and innovation: scheduling with states and hospital systems across the country weekly deliveries (from 50 to 250,000 gowns) well into 2022.
“Merrow is proud to have created a blueprint that produces an uninterrupted supply of essential medical supplies, while also generating jobs, community investment, and strong public and private partnerships. Americans are capable of being both a great global partner and an independent nation. We may be advocates both for trade and open borders, and stewards of a healthy domestic supply chain.”
“In a difficult time, it is clear we can learn from our mistakes, and in partnership, build a stronger and healthier nation,” said Merrow.
“Merrow is proud to have created a blueprint that produces an uninterrupted supply of essential medical supplies, while also generating jobs, community investment, and strong public and private partnerships."
Charlie Merrow, CEO, Merrow Manufacturing & Merrow Sewing Machine Co.
To meet the growing need for PPE in the fight against COVID-19, we’re increasing capacity of Tyvek® protective fabric and working with our partners to get it to the front lines quickly.
For additional information or to inquire about isolation gowns made with DuPont™ Tyvek® made by Merrow Manufacturing
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, we're working around the clock to deliver solutions that help with prevention and control, while keeping our employees safe.
Tyvek® for PPE delivers comfortable and durable protective garments that protect against a wide range of chemical threats and hazards.