With mask mandates taking effect across the state of Florida, and an open-ended pandemic still raging around the globe, one thing’s for certain: our need to mask up will not abate in the near term.
Back when the coronavirus was first hit the US (and when most of us were yet unfamiliar with the term Personal Protective Equipment and its relative acronym), public health experts were concerned that the demand for face coverings could outstrip supply, leaving frontline workers without proper PPE. Luckily, companies like the locally based Strata MFG–a clothing manufacturing brand known for its global outlook–have stepped up to plate.
In May, Strata MFG.–who aside from its own line of clothing has a private label division that works with a laundry list of national and international brands– partnered with digital media company World Red Eye to donate 5,000 masks to frontline workers in Miami. They’ve since donated masks to Duval County Public Schools, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mask4Jax, and the city of Los Angeles. Now Strata MFG. is donating another 50,000 masks to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.
This is just the latest in a series of initiatives kicked off by Strata MFG. cofounders, Jason and Jerry Rodriguez.
“As a brand and manufacturer, we switched gears to manufacture non medical masks back in April. We are in a position to use our resources to help the community,” says Jason. “We grew up in Jacksonville so decided it was only right to give back to where we started and where our main office is based.”
The Jax community, specifically its first responders community, remains near and dear to the Rodriguez brothers, who both formerly worked as members of the American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps in Jacksonville Beach.
In April, the brothers started manufacturing tees for Jax-based businesses effected by the shutdown, with all proceeds from sales of the shirts going back to the respective companies who used the funds to pay out-of-work employees. With Strata’s help, Void Mag was able to seed the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s Artist Relief Fund, which provided financial assistance to Duval-based artists who lost work due to the pandemic.
To learn more about Strata, read our 35 Under 35 profile on the company’s founders from May of 2018.