Just four months ago, FABRIC was making headlines for its modern approach to apparel manufacturing by providing early stage apparel brands with a sustainable solution to offshore manufacturing. FABRIC was making hundreds of different products in small quantities. Responding to the emergency PPE shortage meant quickly converting this model to make large quantities of reusable isolation gowns instead. Completely converting the business model so quickly required partnering with local organizations and implementing new procedures and equipment. Thanks to the donors who helped acquire the necessary equipment and to Arizona Commerce Authority's Manufacturing Extension Partnership for helping to implement lean manufacturing practices, FABRIC is producing thousands of gowns a day.
In less than four months, FABRIC has delivered approximately 80,000 washable isolation gowns to large and small healthcare facilities in Arizona. Each gown can withstand 100 washes which is equivalent to 8,000,000 disposable gowns. When healthcare facilities can purchase these gowns directly from the manufacturer like this, the per-use price is lower than a disposable gown, including the price-per-wash. FABRIC’s medical gowns are a more affordable and sustainable alternative to disposable PPE.
Like offshore apparel manufacturing for the fashion industry, disposable PPE was clearly a tired solution for a modern problem. What doctors, nurses, first responders and healthcare workers needed was not just more PPE, but better, modern PPE that was made domestically. In addition to helping mitigate the PPE shortage in a sustainable way, FABRIC can now also demonstrate to its start-up fashion brands that it has the capacity and capability to develop and manufacture high-volume and specialty apparel in-house so that brands who started in Arizona can stay in Arizona.
Special thank you to...