Toronto tattoo startup Inkbox shifts production to make face shields for frontline workers
Inkbox, a popular semi-permanent tattoo startup in Toronto, is joining in the fight against COVID-19 by shifting its production to personal protective equipment (PPE) for the city's frontline healthcare workers.
The company has been prototyping and producing face shields for donation to the city’s PPE drive over the past few weeks, and the first 113 shields were donated to Trillium Health Partners just days ago.
Inkbox will be producing 1,000 face shields per week for the rest of April, and in May the company will receive materials to begin producing 10,000 shields per week.
"Last month, Inkbox assembled a team of ten staff members (most of its other staff is working from home) and shifted their focus to finalizing prototypes and manufacturing methods for these face shields, which were designed by the company's engineering team," said Erica Salvalaggio, a spokesperson for the company.
"Inkbox is funding all this work through its core business — its tattoos — and has reworked its Research & Development and Engineering budgets to include PPE production for the rest of the year."
The shields are made using laser cutters — which they already have in-house as they're used to cut tattoos — as well as elastic straps which enable frontline workers to adjust the fit of the shields based on their head size.
Face shields are one of the five key articles of personal protective equipment being used by frontline workers during this pandemic, and Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said the city is currently going through 2,820 of them per day.
In addition to these much-needed face shields, Inkbox has also begun developing hand sanitizer, cloth masks and semi-permeable wound dressings.
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