As hospitals have depleted their reserves of N95 respirators and hand sanitizer is in short supply, a wave of companies has stepped up to help: Apparel companies like Under Armour and Reformation are making surgical masks, and distilleries like Tito’s and Koval are making hand sanitizer.
Now, the world’s largest furniture manufacturer, Ikea, is using its vast supply chain to produce masks, hand sanitizer, visors, and aprons for the medical community. Even though a majority of Ikea’s stores are closed, the company’s first wave of relief products are currently being delivered in Europe, according to Reuters.
Ikea is producing 3-ply face masks, rather than full N95 respirators. Respirators are the best, proven option to filter viruses from the air, though experts are beginning to agree that lower tech masks do offer some protection to the general population. Just because they can’t filter 95% of particles from the air doesn’t mean they do nothing.
Ikea plans to deliver 900,000 masks this week, and will be producing “at least” a million a week for the next three weeks. The masks and other goods are being donated free of charge by Ikea.
An earlier version of this story claimed Ikea was making N95 respirators due to an erroneous report from Ikea representatives.