RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Hospitals throughout the country are dealing with a shortage of medical masks during the coronavirus pandemic. In response to the health crisis, some local clothing businesses have halted the production of their normal products to sew hospital masks.

Normally used to make luxury dress shirts, the sewing machines at Ledbury in Richmond are now being used to make face masks for VCU Health Centers.

“We had the know-how, and sort of the expertise, and a workshop where we’re usually making shirts. And we said, ‘we’d love to help,'” said Ledbury CEO and co-founder Paul Trible. “So, we’ve been making masks since last week as a number of other people have been throughout the community. Sort of banding together to help this need.”

He told 8News the company’s three stores are closed as a result of slow business. So, they’re doing the next best thing to keep their tailors and other employees working.

“For us, it’s really been a blessing to help out folks in need but also keep our people busy and keep our business running for what’s been a challenging time for everyone,” Trible said.

The work goes a long way in ensuring all essential workers are protected.

“The fact that we’re able to supplies those to the folks who are out there day-in-day-out making sure the world continues to work for the rest of us that are in quarantine is incredibly gratifying and incredibly helpful for our business,” Trible added.

The company is making around 250 masks a day at their Broad Street location. Ledbury is also producing up to 2,500 masks from its manufacturing partners, all in the hopes of getting masks to more local hospitals.

“Even as hard times are now, there’s going to be some good that comes out of this,” Trible said. “I feel like it just proves that there’s this community support here in Richmond to get through this together. I think we’re going to have a lot more empathy for those in need when we come to the other side of this.”

Along with making masks for health and essential workers, the company is also donating five meals to local students in need per every $100 spent on their website.

Click here for more information of how you can help.