Local athletic clothing company shifts manufacturing to fight COVID-19

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BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A local, small manufacturer is shifting their focus from clothing to medical supplies amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Greater Than Sports usually makes athletic clothing, but now they’ve taken up a greater cause.

A fabric cutter slices through 50 layers with precision and a sewing machine operated by a practiced hand make up the sights and sounds of a busy factory of few workers.

“Business is hard enough, especially being a small business. You add something like this to it, it’s a whole another level,” said GTS Clothing President Michael Borisenok.

The online company’s best-selling products are athletic leggings, but their newest product is a weapon in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

“The more I learned about it and kind of understood it was right in our wheelhouse to do, it just made sense,” said Borisenok.

By day two the company has already made a couple hundred masks. The process is becoming more and more efficient. The team designed a pattern. Fabric is cut to size, and a double layer of it is sewn together.

“We’ve also created an opening for any type of filter,” he said.

Elastic ear loops get sewn on too.

“We basically pulled from our stock and we’ve got yards and yards and yards of it, and we’re able to use,” said Borisenok.

These masks don’t reach the standards of the N95 masks, but health care workers are in such dire need that some hospitals are welcoming them. The first phase of production will be donated.

“People have messaged us and given us direct addresses and contacts of people who are in need, whether its hospitals, whether it’s nurses,” he said.

GTS is also selling hats for $20. Each covers the fabric costs of three masks. But they’re hoping the second phase will involve selling the “made in the USA” masks in bulk.

“It really gives us an advantage to be able to get to the marketplace faster and I actually think it translates to these masks too that within 48 hours we can get it to the marketplace,” he said.

Keeping his six employees on the job—stitching, slicing, and of course, sanitizing while making a positive impact on the health crisis. 

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