FABRIC in Tempe has been working around the clock to ramp up efforts to help mitigate the PPE (personal protective equipment) shortage and has received the FDA certification needed to produce reusable isolation gowns and other items.
FABRIC is a facility run by AZ Apparel Foundation, a 501c3 organization that has stepped up to address urgent PPE shortages. Equally important, they have been able to procure the scarce FDA-approved fabric that is required to make these gowns.
FABRIC has the ability to manufacture a few different safe, effective, FDA approved items including reusable isolation gowns and are working to fill a very large order of 400,000 gowns for a major healthcare facility as well as to support orders from dozens of other large and small facilities.
The FDA-approved fabric they have obtained allows each of the gowns to be laundered and reused up to 300 times.
The materials and equipment needed to scale operations and get these urgently needed PPE items to healthcare workers and first responders is costly and is very hard to get. Today, FABRIC’s current lean manufacturing production line model can produce 500 gowns a day just by adding a few more machines and seamstresses.
They have launched a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of raising $300,000. This would allow them to replicate their current production capacity at least three more times within their Tempe facility and would allow them to expand their capacity to make at least 2,000 items a day (more with round-the–clock shifts).
You can follow their progress at the FABRIC Blog.