Josh Feldman ’91, CEO of Honolulu-based resort wear brand Tori Richard, has spearheaded an effort to provide thousands of free fabric masks to the public.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Feldman wondered how his company could provide support during the crisis. While the effectiveness of fabric masks was at first unclear, the Centers for Disease Control earlier this month released new guidelines, promoting the use of fabric masks for all individuals. Feldman then jumped into action, and Tori Richard immediately began producing colorful masks made from their own popular cotton fabrics. The company decided to give them away for free, asking just a single dollar for shipping in return.
“It’s time to go big. Not just for us, but all of us. Together,” Feldman said. “So we have made a critical decision. We will not be selling these masks. The cost to make them is very low, and we certainly have plenty of fabric on hand. It just didn’t feel right to us to charge for these. We are providing them at no charge in sets of four, but we ask everyone limit themselves to a single order. Share the aloha by leaving enough for others.”
Feldman quickly assembled previously furloughed team members based in Hawai‘i, and began producing the fabric masks, with many local sewers working in their own living rooms. The initial 6,500 masks have already sold out, but the company committed to making another 50,000 masks overseas, and will continue to take requests online. Visit toririchard.com for more information.
– By Tara Olney