Brooklyn Navy Yard steps up efforts to sell PPE made by Yard merchants

Workers making medical face shields at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Photo by Kevin Duggan

Brooklyn Navy Yard is partnering with its vendors to produce and sell “Yard-Made” PPE amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials say the new “Made at the Yard” initiative was designed to help Yard tenants sell Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as cloth face masks and hand sanitizer directly to consumers through a variety of channels.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of New York City, our manufacturing tenants at the Brooklyn Navy Yard immediately pivoted to supplying first responders and essential workers with critical, life-saving PPE,” said Johanna Greenbaum, chief development officer of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. “Now, as workers return to their jobs in the city and our economy begins to reopen, we are once again working with our companies to fill an essential need – and figuring out creative ways to get those products to the public.”

In partnership with the Yard, Brooklyn-based design company West Elm has also launched a landing page dedicated to selling Yard-made face masks at WestElm.com/MadeAtTheYard. Yard-based accessory designer Rebel Designs has pivoted to making cloth face masks, which are now available via the big-name retailer.

“Small businesses like mine have suffered after many months of being shut down, and in this new climate, we have to find creative ways to get our employees back to work, which for us has meant pivoting to make PPE,” said Gina Riley, owner of Rebel Designs Accessories. “Masks are the new accessory, so producing them was a natural next step for us, but the partnership with West Elm has broadened our reach at a critical moment. The Made at the Yard is providing many businesses with a needed lifeline as we figure out new ways to get back to work.”

A “Yard-Made” PPE vending machine.Brooklyn Navy Yard

Brooklyn Navy Yard has also adopted a new business model — “Made at the Yard” vending machines.

The first dispensary is located at the Yard’s Building 77 (141 Flushing Ave.) inside the public atrium and food manufacturing hall, alongside Russ & Daughters, Food Sermon, Transmitter Brewing and Grandchamps.

The machines currently sell face masks produced by Yard tenants Accurate Knitting, American Heirloom, Atoms, Crye Precision, Engraved Signs, Fydelity, Rebel Designs, Stitch NYC and Tracey Tanner. The hand sanitizer is produced by Kings County Distillery, EcoLogic Solutions, and Scully’s.

Brooklyn Navy Yard is also partnering with Wegmans, located at 21 Flushing Ave., to sell cloth face masks from Yard furniture upholsterer Stitch.

“It has been amazing to see everyone at the Brooklyn Navy Yard come together during a time of need, and we are happy to contribute in any we can,” said Kevin Cuff, Wegmans’ Brooklyn store manager. “Early on, Stitch played such a vital role in helping us provide masks to our employees. We are proud to support local business and grow our relationship with Stitch, while also helping to ensure PPE is available to our community.”

Tenants can market and sell PPE and related products on Brooklyn Navy Yard’s newly launched “Made at the Yard” website, www.MadeAtTheYard.com.

This story first appeared on AMNY.com.