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Santini swaps cycling clothing for face masks in fight against coronavirus

Italian company switches production in Lombardy factory

Monica Santini portrait
Joe Robinson
20 Mar 2020

Italian company Santini has halted production of its cycling clothing in order to produce facemasks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The company that produces kit for Trek-Segafredo, Boels-Dolmans and the official World Champion's rainbow jersey is based in the town of Lallio, just 6km away from Bergamo in Lombardy.

Italy is now recognised as the centre of the COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organisation with just under 3,000 deaths and 35,513 cases and the Lombardian city is among the most affected in the country.

Santini hopes production of these face masks will be able to start by Monday 23rd March with aims of producing 1,000 masks per day.

Collaborating with nearby textile manufacturer Sitip to create the masks, a current prototype is being tested at Politecnico di Milan.

Talking to Bergamo News, Santini marketing manager Monica Santini said it was imperative that companies like hers shift to help battle the spread of the virus.

'Right from the start, we asked ourselves as entrepreneurs what we could do. Given the need, we contacted another company from Bergamo, Sitip, which supplies waterproof and breathable fabrics, and we made a prototype,' said Santini.

'We have made the prototype and now we're waiting for the go-ahead from the Politecnico di Milano, which is testing it. From Monday 23rd March, we could put out mask into production.

'We have already tested the machinery and we are ready to produce 10,000 masks a day. We've received a lot of requests, but priority will be given to Bergamo and its provinces because we can see with our own eyes the difficulties of our hospitals, and how much people are still working in offices and factories.'

One of the key concerns in Italy and even here in the UK has been the lack of protective equipment available for workers in hospitals and social care environments.

As for Santini, measures within Italy and neighbouring France could see sales drop. Both countries have place indefinite bans on all recreational cycling as a response to the spread of coronavirus.

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