Asian fashion designers sew protective gear for frontline healthcare

(PHOTO: Getty Images)

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise around the world, creators and labels have responded to the pandemic by offering their factories and workforce to produce essential goods such as hand sanitizers and protective clothing for frontline workers.

The Malaysian Official Designers Association (Moda) has rallied its designers and seamstresses to help make personal protective equipment (PPE) like hospital gowns. Designers Khoon Hooi, Melinda Looi, Key Ng, Celest Thoi and Alia Bastamam, who are members of Moda, have made good use of their sewing machines and have manufactured and delivered nearly 2,000 hospital gowns to date.

Fashion designer Khoon Hooi said Yahoo Lifestyle SEA, “Having free time is indeed a privilege for us in the fashion industry. Given that we have the workforce available as well as the equipment and production has stopped, we have no excuse not to step up and help tackle the shortages of PPE gowns. It also keeps us busy and productive. I see it as a call of duty.

Another fashion designer who participated in the effort, Celest Thoi, said: “We need our frontliners to be protected, strong and have good morale! We are all in the same boat … because if they fall, we fall.

Interested volunteers in Malaysia can email [email protected] or WhatsApp + 6012-8580899.

In Singapore, Meiko Tailor has partnered with Home Sewers to meet the demand for handmade fabric masks. As of April 8, Meiko Tailor has distributed around 150 masks, some of which were given to runners Grab and Deliveroo. If you want to order your own set of cotton cloth masks, email Meiko Tailor at [email protected]

Meanwhile, Filipino designers also contributed to the production of hazmat suits and masks. Celebrity fashion designer Michael Leyva created hats and hazmat suits as well as reusable masks, while Project Runway Philippines alumnus Santi Obcena sewed masks for the donation.

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