MONTANA – The Montana Department of Commerce today announced that six Made in Montana program members will produce 25,000 masks as part of the state’s “Montana Aware” initiative to promote safe and responsible fall travel.
The following six companies will produce the masks at their Montana-based facilities: Montana Robe Company in Belgrade, Glacier Clothing Company in Columbia Falls, Rebekah Jarvey in Havre, 406 Creative Vibe in Missoula, REcreate Designs in Polson, and Red Ants Pants in White Sulphur Springs.
“Made in Montana companies across the state have stepped up during the pandemic to provide goods and services to keep people healthy and safe,” Commerce Director Tara Rice said. “This partnership is an opportunity to support local small businesses, promote the important Montana Aware message to visitors, and continue to encourage responsible public health practices.”
The Department of Commerce will use a portion of its tourism safety allocation of Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars to make the masks available to Montana’s 19 Convention and Visitors Bureaus and six tourism regions. The CVBs and regions can then distribute free masks to travelers during the fall season.
Montana Robe Company Founder and CEO Jenny Thuen says her business started making and donating masks in March.
“We saw a local need and wanted to rise to the challenge to help,” Thuen says. “Now, with the award of this Made in Montana mask program, this opportunity to help has never felt more empowering. We're expanding our seamstress network, boosting our production and making more masks than ever. We're so thankful and excited for the opportunity to help on a greater scale!”
There are more than 2,300 members of the Made in Montana program, which promotes Montana-made products and small businesses. Visitors and Montanans alike seek out authentic Made in Montana products. According to the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research, visitors to Montana spent an estimated $81 million on Made in Montana products in 2019.