Darn Tough Vermont, the sock company based in Northfield, has slowly started making some socks again. The company sent home its manufacturing workforce with full pay and benefits on March 17 as Gov. Phil Scott ordered the closure of schools and businesses to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
About 80 people are working remotely for the company now, said Brooke Kaplan, the director of marketing for Darn Tough. She said Darn Tough paid about 250 manufacturing employees for a month before furloughing them so they could start applying for unemployment insurance. Those workers will continue to receive health insurance and other benefits from their employer, she said.
Meanwhile, after implementing new safety protocols, Darn Tough restarted some of its fulfillment activities in Northfield on April 10; before that, on March 30, it started making socks again for its government contracts, including the military and law enforcement, Kaplan said.
“We are an essential supplier for the government,” Kaplan said. “We’ve got a small team that has put in all kinds of new protocols: masks, gloves, safe distancing.”
Darn Tough in March finished moving some of its corporate offices into a new building in Waterbury.
— Anne Wallace Allen
Correction: DarnTough restarted manufacturing for military orders on March 30.