Ocean State Job Lot is giving away free fabric for customers to make face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The discount retailer is launching the “Mask Fabric For Free” campaign to supply people with high-quality, cotton-polyester blended fabric to be made into about two million homemade masks.
This comes after the Centers for Disease Control recommended that all Americans wear cloth face masks in public in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The fabric will be placed on display in each of the retailer’s 140 stores throughout New England, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Customers interested in making one or two masks are invited to take cloth napkins, while customers who intend to make a larger amount of masks will be supplied with a tablecloth, free of charge.
There is a limit of five units of fabric per person to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from the program.
Ocean State Job Lot is also encouraging groups and organizations who can make masks at scale to speak with their local store leaders to coordinate large orders.
“During this critically-important time, it’s our responsibility as community partners to think outside of the box and provide as much assistance as we can,” said Paul Conforti, Chief Marketing Officer of Ocean State Job Lot. “While we’ve been focused on sourcing critical supplies and medical-grade masks for healthcare professionals and first responders battling COVID-19, our ‘Mask Fabric For Free’ campaign specifically focuses on the needs of everyday people who are looking for responsible ways to protect themselves and others.”
The company is also using its global supply chain to source one million surgical and N95 face masks, which are being donated to hospitals and other medical facilities in the region.
Last week alone, the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation donated essential items, and also sold items below cost, to organizations including Rhode Island Hospital, Bradley Hospital, RI Free Clinic, Boston Medical Center, the State of Rhode Island, and multiple fire and police departments. These essential items included thousands of masks, gloves, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, hazmat suits, eye protection and more.