Stoke City kit manufacturer Macron has shelved making sporting goods to launch a vital not-for-profit project developing personal protective equipment.
Macron is one of the largest strip suppliers in European footballers, making match and training kits for teams including Stoke, Lazio, Sporting Libson and Hannover. It should be a busy time of year finalising new designs for next season.
But the company has now taken on a ginormous, high-intensity and high-speed scheme to make PPE including hospital gowns and breathing masks, surgical masks and hospital grade overalls for healthcare workers and other emergency services.
The firm – based in Bologna, northern Italy, near the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe – hopes to make eight million parts available as early as next week. Production will take place at facilities in Italy and Asia.
At the request of the Italian government, all products will initially only be delivered within Italy but distribution is expected into other countries in the near future.
Macron chief executive Gianluca Pavanello said: “It was very clear and self-evident for us that we would make our know-how and our value chain available in a time so difficult for our country and the whole world.
“I am extremely proud of the efforts and commitment that each of us shows in this situation and that we have managed to respond immediately to the emergency.”
Last month, Macron donated 100,000 euros to the Sant’Orsola Polyclinic Hospital in Bologna.
A statement from the company said: “The logo of the Italian company is the Macron Hero, which symbolizes the joy at the end of a trial, the achievement of a goal. Never before has the Macron spirit and philosophy coincided so deeply with a global challenge as now.”