Just to be clear, Wilkhahn’s face masks are not, of course, medically approved ones. But because PPE, even for everyday use, is in short supply and we at Wilkhahn want to protect our employees on the production line as best as possible, we’re being inventive. Instead of upholstery, Wilkhahn face masks are being accurately sewn at two tables in the sewing department. To make them, we used a bonded nonwoven, which is normally applied inside upholstery covers for thermal comfort. This is a relatively close-knit but still breathable, food-safe and skin-friendly material that can be washed at 40°C. It does not, of course, meet the hygiene standards required in healthcare. However, it does suffice as a way of preventing droplet infections and sends out a strong signal to others to keep their distance.
Wilkhahn still has plenty to do thanks to full order books, stable supply chains and the loyalty of long-standing customers. And we’ve taken several steps to ensure that this remains so for as long as possible. Wherever possible, Wilkhahn employees are working from home, the production department is operating staggered shifts and taking breaks at different times in order to avoid too much contact. Face masks are worn in meetings and out-of-house appointments have been minimised in everyone’s interest.
Two face masks are provided per employee and working day. And our workforce is also helping out local organisations if these are in dire need. To date, around 2,000 Wilkhahn face masks have been produced alongside standard operations. But above all, we hope that our face mask will soon be just a mere reminder of a pragmatic and nice approach to coping with shortages in difficult times that affect everyone equally.
Protecting health and social responsibility are just as much part of Wilkhahn’s DNA as a passion for innovation and good design are. You can read our corporate philosophy for yourselves by clicking here.