THE Philippine fashion industry recently joined forces to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic through the production of complete personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontliners.
A group of fashion veterans, experts, textile specialists, educators, mentors and alumni from the Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM) Program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde has joined efforts in the production of jumpsuits and gown sets complete with head, foot covers and masks.
The team have finished over 100 jumpsuits, which are set to be delivered to small public and private hospitals that do not have immediate access to PPEs and cannot meet the minimum quantity requirements of suppliers.
For the washable jumpsuits, the group utilized water-repellent fabrics such as ripstop provided by The Leather Collection and nylon taffeta raised from the goodwill of industry professionals, associates and the general public. Meanwhile, disposable gowns are made from donated 40 GSM non-woven fabrics.
The designs follow standards provided by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI), which closely works with the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH).
The design takes cues from studies of the PPE ideal for the Philippine climate without relying on imported supplies. The suits likewise adhere to the requirements plotted by the Manila Sewing Club’s Open Source Design based from an actual sample from the Office of the Vice President Leni Robredo, and outputs from experts in the U.S.
Meanwhile, the young student-artists from the Mark of Designers Alliance (MoDA), the official fashion organization of the College, likewise started their own cause. The aspiring fashion designers are currently producing 4,000 additional face shields made from acetate, clear plastic sheet, garter, and foam to be donated to hospitals including the PGH, Las Piñas Doctors Hospital, Ospital ng Makati, Ospital ng Maynila, UP Diliman Health Service, and UnihealthParañaque Hospital and Medical Center.
“When the industry heard the need of the hospitals in this crisis, we saw this as an opportunity for us to be a part of the solution, not just monetarily but also exhausting all our resources from knowledge to networks,” shared Benilde FDM Program Chairperson Christine Benet.
They call on for donations both in cash and in kind for materials such as fabric, garter, Velcro, ballpoint needles, and polyester and nylon threads, and welcome volunteers who wish to contribute in the production, packaging, and actual delivery of the finished products.
Interested donors and volunteers for the FDM Faculty Members may send an email to [email protected] or visit the @BenildeFDM page on Facebook.