Ledbury trades designer shirts for virus-protecting masks

Posted at 2:04 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 14:06:01-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Ledbury is a men’s clothing company based in Richmond. But for more the last couple of months, it’s gone from making shirts to making masks.

"This is sort of like an accordion-shaped mask that you've seen with the pleated style, and what's nice about this is that it enables you to fit almost any face which is great,” Ledbury CEO Paul Trible said. "For us [making masks] is a small way to pay this forward and be able to help the community, particularly the vulnerable population and those businesses that need to get back open and need to protect their employees.”

Three full-time tailors at Ledbury’s downtown shop make about 250 masks a day.

"They've been working so hard. I think not only because there is work to get done, but because we're helping people. For them to be able to take that skill and know-how and to transfer for that into protective masks is something that we were blessed to be able to do,” Trible said.

The initial plan was to provide masks for hospitals. But as the need for masks continued to grow, Trible started working with mass production companies abroad.

That allowed him to make 2,500 masks per day, bringing his total to over 150,000 to date.

Also, for every mask that is purchased, Ledbury donates one to the Community Foundation for A Greater Richmond and Partner for The Homeless in New York City, where Ledbury has another store.

Ledbury also teamed with the non-profit Virginia 30 Day Fund, which provides forgivable loans, giving out free masks to more than 150 small businesses, according to Trible. Those masks will meet a need for businesses working to stay open during the pandemic.

“I think if there's anything that's good that comes out of this, I think it's going to be this closer sense of community, so we're obviously donating masks and we're going to continue to do that. We'll probably donate tens of thousands of masks which I think is important," said Trible.

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