TEMPE, Ariz. — The coronavirus pandemic has the healthcare industry scrambling to find enough PPE (personal protection equipment) gear for their personnel: masks, gowns, gloves and booties.

FABRIC Tempe (Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center) and its nonprofit Arizona Apparel Foundation are stepping up to help with the short supply of gowns.

They designed a reusable gown that staff hope to start producing next week once the proper material arrives.

“These gowns can be washed two to 300 times. That does help to mitigate the shortage,” said Sherri Barry, co-founder of FABRIC Tempe.

Both the design and material are CDC and FDA approved.

Amy Oakes – a quality and regulatory consultant who works with medical companies – said the FDA has strict guidelines when it comes to making the gowns.

“I know everybody thinks that regulations are red tape and they’re worthless, but the point of those regulations is to make sure what’s being manufactured will be safe,” said Amy Oakes.

The community-based organization hopes to roll out as many gowns as possible to sew the gap shut in the shortage of protection for our healthcare workers.

“We’re all in this together. We’re going to do this together,” said Barry.

The Arizona Apparel Foundation is a nonprofit organization. If you would like to help, you can follow this link

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