Riegel Linen shifts to health-care manufacturing

Riegel Linen CEO Bill Josey [left] presents face masks to University of South Carolina Aiken law enforcement officer Mitchell Wilson. Photo credit: Riegel Linen (Riegel Linen)

Aiken, S.C.-based Riegel Linen now is manufacturing masks in addition to surgical towels, sheeting and mattress pads for existing and new customers. The textile manufacturer, which also produces sheeting, terry and table-linen products for hotels and restaurants, also is helping the local community.

As part of its new "Hospitality Strong" initiative, Riegel Linen CEO Bill Josey gifted 75 washable cloth face masks to international students at the University of South Carolina Aiken who are unable to return home due to the quarantine. An additional 45 masks were donated to the U of SC Aiken Police Department, which serves the campus community.

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The Economic Development Partnership of Aiken, Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda counties was instrumental in bringing the UofSC Aiken and Riegel Linen together.

“In mid-March, as COVID-19 restrictions began, our organization pivoted its focus,” said Will Williams, president/CEO of the Economic Development Partnership. “That focus went to assisting the manufacturers in our four-county region with remaining open. We reached out to see if any could transition their manufacturing process to producing critically needed personal protective equipment. Riegel Linen was the first to step forward and say they would shift to producing masks. Days later we learned that the UofSC Aiken Police Department needed that very item. While the campus was closed, a small number of international students remained in the dorms. These officers were having to periodically check on these students and doing it without proper PPE. We reached out to Riegel Linen and they graciously agreed to provide masks to not only the UofSC Aiken Police Department but also the remaining students.

“We are extremely grateful to the leadership and employees of Riegel Linen for answering the call to provide these items,” Williams said. “We appreciate the jobs they have in our region and that they call this part of South Carolina home.”

Health-care products manufactured today by Riegel Linen include two-piece and four-piece washable cloth face masks (designed for barrier protection only), 100 percent cotton surgical towels, mattress pads and sheeting for hospital beds.