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  • Writer's pictureIeva Poriete

Helping NHS with every stitch

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

Can we make hospital uniforms in UK? YES we can.

Pandemic of COVID19 affected all of us in matter of no time at all. People joined forces, looked for support and help. Thanks to joint efforts of local council, businesses and residents Scrubs Glorious Scrubs project was initiated in Ascot. Instead of world famous horseracing, dressmakers were pressing the pedals of sewing machines to race through the demand of non-surgical scrubs. With social distancing measures at place cars were coming in and out of Ascot Business Park dropping off and delivering scrubs and material alike.

Network of more than 400 volunteers made over 8000 non surgical scrubs locally.
Fabric store Joel and Son London donated over 3000 rolls of fabric for the project that was distributed to couture dressmakers across London. It also included Queens couturier Stewart Parvin and myself.

At times it was overwhelming to close my studio in Theatre Royal in Windsor and take part in home stitching for NHS. As the lockdown restrictions grow, so did my desire to return to creative environment that I have grown so fond of.

I am grateful for the opportunity to test out what manufacturing in UK could look like. As we learnt about Leicester manufacturing ethics breach and complexity of recruiting skilled staff, there is still a long way to go to bring manufacturing back to UK. We have certainly made one step in correct direction. Fashion designer Ieva Poriete is reflecting on her lockdown experience and demand for specialist sewing skills.

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