Skip to main content
TB blog: news and thoughtful thoughts on bags, design, and our company. Subscribe to receive new blog posts via email
or RSS.

Pitching in to make some masks

UPDATE: We are now at capacity manufacturing simple, reusable, washable/dryable surgical-style face masks in our Seattle factory.

Please note: these are not medical-grade masks. We’re a backpack factory and we’re making masks instead of bags due to the shortage of surgical masks and other PPE (personal protective equipment) that our healthcare community is facing. 

The masks we are able to make are simple cotton surgical masks that can be washed, dried, and reused. They can be worn by those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or over N95s in an effort to extend their life. Make no mistake: what we’re making is not first rate medical equipment — but we do hope they will help in the situations in which their use is appropriate.  

All of this is evolving and changing very quickly. We’ll post updates as often as we can.

The mask below was patterned by Kaas as part of the "1 Million Masks" effort. If you're a manufacturer or home sewer and want to help make masks, please follow the link above. 

Surgical Mask / N95 "mask cover" for COVID-19 ~ Made in USA 



Darcy's the CEO at TOM BIHN. She really likes working. When she's not working, she's probably hiking, reading, making tacos, gardening with native plants or hanging out with human and canine friends.

←(No More) Surprise Pouch With Every Order (The Original) Icon available now; (The Future) Icon available later this year→


  • Jen on

    This is why I am a loyal Tom Bing customer! I’ll be first in line for my wish list items when you switch production back to bags, and I’ll keep my ears open for healthcare worker friends who can benefit from this. 💛💛💛

  • Darcy (CEO at TOM BIHN) on

    @Ashley, RN, BSN Caveat: we aren’t healthcare professionals, we’re bag makers. But what we have heard from healthcare professionals is that they are being asked to reuse their N95s and that they want masks to wear as covers in an effort to extend the life of the N95. So, yes, exactly like you described.

  • Darcy (CEO at TOM BIHN) on

    @Traci Pelaez RNC Great questions. Our company is based in Seattle; we design and manufacture backpacks, tote bags, and travel bags. We estimate that we can manufacture 10,000 / day of the simple surgical mask design shown below for less than $.90/each (that is our cost.) That may seem like a lot of masks, but you know like we do that it’s a small drop in a big bucket. We plan to set aside part of our production capacity for individual healthcare workers across the country who may need these masks and will do our best to meet requests; some have volunteered to help us fundraise to cover the costs of those masks. Hope that helps and please feel free to ask more questions. Thank you for the important work you do.

  • Darcy (TOM BIHN CEO) on

    Anna Quinn Harrelson Send a note to if you haven’t already.

  • Anna Quinn Harrelson on

    FastMed Urgent Care in NC is trying hard to provide masks for the patients and providers in our clinics. We are at a critical shortage and have resorted to not being able to mask our sick patients and reusing our masks all day.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published