Farmers Armour, an apparel company focused on creating technical, protective gear for cannabis farmers, launched a one-for-one mask donation program in the beginning of April to support frontline workers of the COVID-19 outbreak.
With manufacturing systems already in place, ramping up production of the masks was relatively simple for Farmers Armour. Founded by cannabis farmer Jeremy Glum in the fall of 2018, the small company has been making farming masks for just over a year now.
Luckily, no design modifications were needed – the highly efficient and protective farming masks are machine washable and already feature two breathing valves, and they come with a replaceable N99 filter. The filter’s lifespan is approximately 40 hours.
However, as the demand for masks rapidly grew with the nationwide shut down, Glum and his partner Kaz Kosciolek didn’t feel right about capitalizing off the increased sales.
“Since there was a mass shortage of masks, we felt a moral obligation to contribute,” said Kosciolek, who handles the marketing and digital aspects of the company.
“We stand 100% by our products, and if there’s an issue we always make it right,” he added.
By the Farmer for the Farmer
Kosciolek and Glum have spent countless hours in the field. They share a love of cannabis, and are passionate about helping their fellow farmers with no-bullsh*t apparel that gets the job done. One might describe Farmers Armour as a “by the farmer, for the farmer” kind of company where they treat their customers like friends, offering full transparency and a commitment to delivering quality products.
“When so much focus has been on legalization and end product, we wanted to make sure the people actually growing the product weren’t forgotten,” Kosciolek said.
Glum’s idea for Farmers Armour was born out of a desire to work in comfort – not just for himself but for all of his fellow farmers exposed to rugged climate conditions and allergens on the job.
Farmers Armour’s two main products are their protective farming sleeves and dust particle masks. The sleeves keep resin production off and offer protection from leaf rash and any other skin irritation associated with gardening. Glum developed the masks with trimmers in mind, as a lot of people have allergies and can become extremely irritated while working, he explained.
Knights in Shining Armour
Utilizing the masks to combat coronavirus is not something they could have predicted, but Glum and Kosciolek feel fortunate that they are able to use Farmers Armour as an outlet to expand their reach and help people outside of the cannabis industry.
“Doing the one-for-one donation fits into our company value of being as helpful as we can,” Kosciolek said.
As of May 22, the Santa Cruz-based company has donated approximately 1,800 masks with more on the way. Masks are being offered to many of Santa Cruz’s first responders, like the local fire departments, health wards, and the sheriff’s office. Essential retailers such as banks, grocery stores, and the post office are also on Glum’s donation list.
Glum is personally delivering the masks to those in need. When talking to him about the donation program, it’s clear that contributing to his community means a lot to him.
“It’s giving people an opportunity to donate and help out, and I think that’s the beauty of any donation,” said Glum. “Let’s give everyone a chance to help everyone. It’s a cool option for us.”
Glum’s desire to help others is also reflected in the company’s commitment to sustainability. Farmers Armour is continually examining ways in which they can reduce their carbon footprint. Recently, this meant making products that are reusable and moving away from plastic packaging – something consumers will notice when receiving their masks.
The mask donation program will continue for as long as masks are still needed by front line workers.
Those who don’t need masks but still want to participate in the donation program can do so at https://farmersarmour.com/shop.
Alongside the donation program, the Farmers Armour team is working to release new farming-related gear in the coming months. Visit their website for product updates and more information on their one-for-one program.
TELL US, are you helping others during the COVID-19 crisis?