Enduring Australian fashion house, Fella Hamilton, switches gear to produce vital protective wear for frontline health workers
Answering the government call to Australian manufacturers to retool to help the cause, Melbourne-based fashion brand, Fella Hamilton has redeployed designers, pattern cutters, sewers and dispatch staff in their Victorian clothing manufacturing plant to create scrubs and work wear for GPs, nurses and other frontline health workers.
The specially designed and made scrubs sets can be washed at high temperatures to kill any pathogens and are intended to be worn in place of normal work wear that can’t withstand these high temperature washes.
“We have many contacts in Allied Health in Melbourne,” says Fella Hamilton CEO, Sharon Hamilton. “We are in awe and so grateful for these people who are putting themselves at risk each day to keep the rest of us safe and we wanted to do something to help protect them during this crisis.”
“Because we have retained a significant proportion of our manufacturing in Australia, we have been able to bring back our staff to work on this project and have turned it around quickly.”
In consultation with several doctors, the company has created industry acceptable designs and called on their network of suppliers to provide all the materials needed.
“We are even working with suppliers we haven’t used before,” says Hamilton.
By putting their winter collection on hold for now, they are able to keep the business running, keep staff in work and also create a flow on effect for their suppliers, including a die house that will be needed turn white fabric into colours that are suitable for health work.
“This isn’t a profit-making exercise,” says Hamilton. “We’re selling the scrubs at cost price of approximately $50, which is less than half the normal cost for a set, with a small margin to cover any unforeseen expenses so that we’re not operating at a loss.”
“With deliveries from China being delayed for up to 4-6 weeks the demand for these items simply can’t be met from the usual suppliers when it’s needed the most.”
In addition to the scrubs they have been asked to make surgical hats and face masks, both with and without a filter pocket.
“We’re also in the process of designing an easy-remove scrubs top that doesn’t need to be lifted over the head to further minimise the possibility of virus transfer.”
The full collection of scrubs and protective wear is available on the Fella Hamilton website, which will be updated regularly with new options: https://fellahamilton.com.au/healthcare-wear