LOS ANGELES – This ripstop fabric is something Jacqueline Westman is looking for so it can then be made into medical gowns.
"This fabric that's being donated will go to our cutters, our sample cutters," said Westman.
Westman, along with her friend Brittany Walker, started Project PPE, a group of innovative design fields all coming together to help medical professionals who are in dire need of supplies.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:
- Coronavirus Updates: What to Know in SoCal
- Mar Vista Farmers Market Among Those Allowed to Reopen
- Mayor Garcetti's Latest Efforts to Prevent Coronavirus Spread
The pair have spent their careers working in the fashion industry and decided to tap their network, like Ragfinders, for fabric donations.
"The first 200 gowns that we were able to produce, we did it in less than four days which is really amazing," said Westman.
Today, they are receiving a donation of 600 yards of fabric and this lightweight woven is the ideal material because it's breathable and easy for medical professionals to move in and clean.
"The fact that it's super easy to wipe off something and is totally reusable they don't need to throw it in a washer, they could just wipe it down," said Brittany Walker.
They load the fabric into their cars then take them to their contacts who will cut and sew the gowns.
Many of the local clothing companies in Los Angeles have had to shut down because of the state-wide lockdown. So Westman and Walker started a GoFundMe page to help get these workers paid who have been laid off or furloughed.
"So we're not only helping our country, and our community but we're also creating jobs within which is very important because at the end of the day have families and bills," said Westman.
They have partnered with the non-profit Medical Supply Drive to get the gowns distributed. The organization was started by Georgetown University medical students, who have nearly 400 volunteers in 37 states and coordinate the drop-off of supplies to hospitals.
Once the gowns are completed they take them to their L.A. County coordinator in Pasadena who has a growing list of more than ten local hospitals requesting PPE.
"Right now my house is our supply collection site, so once we get a few more drop offs then we're going to do a big donation delivery run," said Lavan Rajin.
With California expected to hit its coronavirus peak in the coming weeks, Westman knows how important their efforts are. But it's taking an entire village of design professionals and Westman has been overwhelmed by their help to aid this crisis.
"Already within a week or two things have moved so rapidly. We're so grateful for all the donations and everyone who's been so supportive of us," said Westman.
Doing their part to stitch the design and medical field together turning donated fabric into life-saving material.
Know of another organization that is in need of help at this time? Let us know using #OneSoCal.