Doing its part: Carlstadt apparel company pitching in to make PPE

While hospitals around New York and New Jersey deal with a shortage of personal protection gear for health care workers, manufacturing companies around the country are switching gears to help keep up with the demand.
Suuchi Inc. normally manufactures dresses, apparel and accessories for clothing designers. But now the Carlstadt-based company is making protective masks and other protective equipment for hospital staff.
“Most of our brands are in fashion, a lot of fashion and some of their sales have plummeted,” says founder Suuchi Ramesh. “So, we’ve directed that capacity to the mass production of PPE goods – masks, scrubs, goggles.”
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Ramesh founded her company in North Bergen in 2015. The company has grown to become what they call a complete manufacturing platform that uses a network of 600 factories and mills worldwide. They specialize in using technology to bring products from concept to manufacture to delivery fast.
“This is not a big deviation from our business model, because we are experts at using technology and having supply chain experience to make and source products. This is what we’ve always been about,” Ramesh says.
The Carlstadt factory and more than two dozen others in Ramesh’s network in Latin America have been making the PPE for the past few weeks.
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“Some of these factories are pretty massive. We’ve already taken orders for tens of millions of units,” she says.
Most of the units were ordered by hospitals and one state government. The company is also producing a line of gear that will be donated to local health care workers.
Ramesh says that about 75% of the production in the Carlstadt factory will be PPE within the next week, while 25%-30% of its networks’ factories abroad are already producing masks and other equipment almost exclusively.