Emergency Designer Network supports scrubs production
Can you provide fabric, sewing capabilities or donations?
A group of London-based designers have united to form the Emergency Designer Network (EDN), a volunteer-led enterprise that is galvanising local production to support hospital stocks of key garments such as scrubs.
The group, led by Holly Fulton, Bethany Williams, Phoebe English and Cozette McCreery, is working as a collective with a number of UK manufacturers and designers.
The first batch of 2,195 scrubs, was sent to hospitals this week (27 April), comprising the work of 44 makers in total including local makers (395 sets), Hiut Denim 400 sets, Tower Garments (400 sets) and John Smedley (1,000 sets). The second batch of 1,900 sets is due for delivery next week (4 May) comprising local makers (685 sets), Matchesfashion/Raey (700 sets), Tower Garmets (400 sets) and Drakes (100 sets). The group has secured a third batch of fabric to make a further 1,200 sets.
It has received support from Net-a-Porter, MatchesFashion and Freight Brokers for logistics; manufacturing support and raw materials from Blackhorse Lane, Fitzgerald Cutters, MatchesFashion, Tower Garments, Drakes, John Smedley, Hiut, Connolly, Reiss, and many others, as well as digital design and support from 11.12.
Independent designers and makers involved in the initiative include Simone Rocha, Roland Mouret, Emilia Wickstead, Lou Dalton, Teatum Jones, Robyn Lynch, Liam Hodges, Richard Malone, and others.
EDN is looking for people who can support the initiative, including skilled sewers with sample machinist or garment industry background, manufacturers with sewing capabilities as well as donations – however small – to help fund the purchase of raw materials (NHS-certified fabrics, webbing, thread, etc). Alternatively, EDN said it can accept some but not all plain 65/30 150gsm poly-cotton fabrics with a preference to mid to light greens and mid to light blues.
As Covid-19 is a global pandemic, EDN is interested in hearing from anyone internationally, and can also openly offer support and insights to those undertaking similar work overseas.
Together, the group hopes to make a small-scale yet significant difference to this critical situation.
The scrubs and robes being made by EDN are hospital – but not government – approved, meaning that they adhere to many, but not all, manufacturing guidelines. These garments are not, and should not to be used in place of, government PPE.
Garments can instead offer lower level protection to staff and carers or can be worn as an undergarment layer, allowing government-approved PPE to go where it is desperately needed.
All donations (aside from GoFundMe administration charges) are used to purchase cloth and manufacturing components. The EDN team are all volunteers.
HOW IT WORKS:
A North London hospital provided EDN with a sample set of scrubs, which the group deconstructed and made a pattern from the pieces. A London grade house voluntarily adapted them into assorted sizes so that a broad range of hospital needs were met at a design level.
There are two ways these patterns are being turned into finished garments.
EDN is working with a range of volunteer factories across the UK with capacity to manufacture scrubs. The group is providing hospital-approved patterns, NHS-certified fabric, and the webbing and thread required to make the garments. The scrubs are constructed and washed in-house, in accordance with sanitation protocols, and then sent using voluntary courier services directly to the hospitals that have expressed need for them.
Using Skilled Makers
EDN has created design packs for industry level, skilled, volunteer at home makers. A Lancaster-based supplier has provided a quantity of NHS-approved fabric, which has been voluntarily cut into pattern pieces by a Nottingham facility. The trousers have been sent to a London-based atelier who are inserting button holes (which requires specialist machinery). Then trouser pieces, top pieces, thread, webbing and patterns are being dispatched – alongside technical instructions – to makers around the country.
EDN is also providing makers with (donated) material from which they can assemble masks for themselves to wear as they manufacture, alongside a safety code of conduct (machinery must be sterilised; gloves must be worn; couriers must be met from a 2-meter distance). After garments have been constructed, a voluntary courier service will pick them up and take them to an industrial facility where they will be washed at 90 degrees. They will then be sent directly to the hospitals that have expressed need for them.
To find out more, visit www.emergencydesignernetwork.org
To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/emergency-designer-network/donate
UKFT is in constant dialogue with the government and is outlining the latest support available for businesses on our website. We will update the details as and when the situation changes.