Impact Stories | Civic Engagement

Decentralized Medical Gown Production

by
Sanidhya Mathur
,
April 30, 2021
Our frontliners are lacking the proper equipment they need to stay safe while they work towards minimizing the spread of COVID-19. From face masks and shields to full-body gowns. There are many medical necessities that must be paired to ensure maximum safety.

The progression of the global pandemic has led to an exponential increase in requests for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Our community of changemakers is now preparing to produce full-body gowns, including hair and shoe covers, for the hospitals and clinics across Malaysia. The production is only possible through the decentralised platform which allows for numerous parties, including producers and manufacturers to come together towards collective impact!

Unity amongst the producers of the medical gowns and manufacturers providing the materials bring a sense of synchronicity that allows for streamlined impact creation. The initiative has been largely supported by our supply partners, Fibertex Personal Care. Being a textile manufacturing company, Fibertex Personal Care focuses on non-woven fabrics that are necessary for the medical and hygiene industry. The materials needed to produce medical gowns are extremely difficult to source, yet Fibertex Personal Care managed to supply us with 15 rolls of 685 meters non-woven fabric! Additionally, the kind guidance of Kintex KL, our textiles and fabrication industry partners who also supply the seatbelts we utilize in our bags, have helped us with navigating the textile industry and creating partnerships to further this cause. The assistance provided by Fibertex Personal Care and Kintex KL is a testament to Malaysian solidarity. It is also humbling to see companies alike joining together to achieve a communal goal. Their responsiveness in such times is an indicator of the sense of comradery and community that is built in times of adversity.

Simultaneously, consolidation of production partners and makers, consisting of impact-focused individuals, organizations and communities, to power such an initiative has occurred. The production initiative began with social impact organizations sew x dignity and Suri Lifestyle. Shortly after, like-minded organizations, Tanoti, Batik Boutique & Earth Heir, joined the production effort for gowns! Our community of impact partners has currently identified over 30 seamsters who have quickly mobilised this effort and are already producing gowns across Malaysia. Rapidly mobilizing the production of medical gowns is no easy task. From the materials and equipment needed to compensating the hardworking seamsters that are tasked with laborious work. Yet, these organizations are making it work. With the support of supply and industry partners, much of the costs of production are alleviated. Additionally, our impact organizations have reached out to corporate clients to help finance such an initiative and to ensure all workers are paid fairly.


As impact-driven organizations, our priority is always serving our community

Thus, in addition to supporting those within the frontline with the necessary equipment, this initiative also activates and engages our marginalised and disadvantaged communities in hopes of providing safe and meaningful employment during this time of uncertainty. We would like to take this moment to celebrate all the partners, suppliers, logistics providers, and the hard-working seamstresses. This fight against COVID-19 has become about us as a community working together. Seeing individuals, organisations and communities join forces to support our frontliners during this time of need is truly humbling. The doctors, nurses, policemen, and many other frontliners are risking their lives every day to limit the spread. A collective effort is required to bring these heroes the necessities they require to stay safe! The mission towards protecting our frontlines is always evolving. Every day is a challenge. Yet, together we persevere.

Sanidhya Mathur

Sanidhya Mathur is a content writer at Me.reka with a passion for producing content that reflects and communicates diverse experiences through a shared vision of social innovation.