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Apparel Partnership Reaches Manufacturing Milestone; 500,000 Reusable Isolation Gowns Produced for Healthcare Workers During Pandemic

The Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center (FABRIC) announced today that partners operating within its facility during the pandemic have collaborated to make 500,000 FDA-approved, reusable, level 2 and 3 isolation gowns for medical professionals.

AZ Fashion Source, Falcon Engineering, Wulff Contracting, On Point Manufacturing and Katchina Apparel Manufacturing collaborated with FABRIC to produce the American-made and reusable isolation gowns, which can be worn and washed 100 times.

“With 500,000 gowns produced to date, the reusable gowns have kept 50,000,000 disposable gowns out of landfills,” said Sherri Barry of AZ Fashion Source and cofounder of FABRIC. “The gowns have also helped keep costs down for healthcare providers of all sizes, with a price-per-wash that is lower than a disposable gown.”

FABRIC, a public social cooperative enterprise that works with private industry, local government and nonprofits to support apparel entrepreneurs, pivoted quickly when the pandemic hit the U.S. in March. Local donors, including the Flinn Foundation, Virginia G. Piper, Charitable Trust, Pakis Center for Business Philanthropy, Tempe Innovation Development Association, Thunderbirds Charities, BHHS Legacy Foundation, Silicon Valley Bank, PCA Skin, AZ Community Foundation, and AZ Bio, supported the effort to transform FABRIC’s space into a manufacturing hub for PPE when pandemic-related shortages were widespread.