October 05, 2020
News from the Flowfold Team
This Election Day, we're teaming up with L.L.Bean to help our community get out the vote! To ensure the safety of poll workers, volunteers, and voters, we're donating 8,000 face shields to the State of Maine to be distributed to poll workers, volunteers, and voters. L.L.Bean will be donating 8,000 face masks. This year, safe and accurate voting is more important than ever, and we're proud to be making this donation, along with an additional 1,000 shields that we donated to voter volunteers in other states.
Members of the Flowfold team wearing face shields. Since our pivot, we've grown from a team of 6 to a group of over 20 talented individuals!
Our team has learned a lot since we first pivoted to manufacturing face shields back in March. When the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading into our state and community, we were fortunate to be able to drop everything and take on the new challenge of making a whole new product (PPE) for a whole new customer (hospitals). The first weeks were a scramble, as we juggled sourcing material with designing durable but lightweight face shields, all while adhering to the new safety guidelines for our state. As the summer continued and demand for face shields grew beyond hospitals to businesses, schools, and individuals, we got really good at balancing.
We started making our regular products again in late August, and now we balance crafting everyday gear with our face shield operation. Some of the machines we use to cut protective PET film and bar-tack our sturdy face shields together have been re-retooled to once again cut and sew our lightweight wallets, bags, and daily essentials. Our team, considerably larger now than it was back in March, is adept at making both PPE and everyday items, and we're hard at work designing and testing new products that improve the daily lives of our customers—be it lighter, more versatile bags, or protective, breathable face masks.
Left: A member of our face shield team at the bar-tacker. Right: A production employee crafting our fan favorite Recycled Sailcloth Vanguards.
We're a small, nimble business, proud to be able to adapt to the world around us and provide effective solutions to challenges that arise. When the opportunity arose to bring PPE to poll volunteers during the November 3rd election, we jumped at another opportunity to support our community. Along with L.L.Bean, a long standing partner of ours in both Flowfold and PPE operations, we've donated protective face shields and face masks to poll volunteers in Maine.
“We are incredibly grateful to have these two upstanding Maine companies recognize the importance of supporting our election workers with protective equipment this year,” said Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap. “We are very appreciative of this donation, which will help limit the spread of the pandemic while people exercise their right to vote.”
As hospitals, businesses, schools, and communities around the country navigate the daily threat of COVID-19, polling stations join the fray to ensure the safety and security of voters and poll workers and volunteers. In 2016, 56% of election poll volunteers were over the age of 60, according to the US Election Assistance Commission. This year, volunteers young and old face the new risk of COVID-19, and protective equipment such as face shields and face masks will benefit all at the polls, volunteers and voters alike.
Left: Boxes of face shields ready to be sent to polling stations all around Maine. Right: A bin of prototypes for adult and kids face shields.
We're proud to once again team up with fellow Maine manufacturer to bring protective equipment to those who need it. Back in April, when we won the bid to supply the State of Maine with 500,000 face shields, L.L.Bean opened the doors to their facilities and granted us much needed space to maintain our growing PPE operation. For us, Maine is home, and we are grateful to continuously aid our community, which has always shown our small businesses nothing but love and support.
“With the challenges posed by COVID we're proud to join with L.L.Bean and the State of Maine to ensure poll volunteers have access to the PPE they need,” says Devin McNeill, Flowfold CEO and Co-Founder. “Such local partnerships is why we continue to manufacture, and base our company, in the great state of Maine.”
On November 3rd, poll workers and volunteers all over the country will be helping their communities cast their votes. That's why donated an additional 1,000 face shields to voter volunteers in states outside of Maine!
In Maine and beyond, the risk of COVID-19 shouldn't deter anyone from casting their vote and partaking in our democracy.
So stay safe, and happy voting!
- the Flowfold Team
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