DIRE DRESS CODES: Like many nonprofits, Fashion Girls for Humanity has redirected its focus to the global pandemic to help develop PPE — or personal protective equipment — goods.
The group has teamed with Fashion for the Front Lines to create two information hubs to highlight available resources, including downloadable patterns to make face masks and medical gowns. There is a list of hospitals and health-care facilities that are in need of donations or purchases of PPE. There is also information about companies producing PPE goods.
Fashion Girls for Humanity was started nine years ago by Julie Gilhart, Kikka Hanazawa, Miki Higasa and Tomoko Ogura. As part of the COVID-19 response, the group is helping Care + Wear, a leading resource for health-wear, by starting a campaign to raise funds for its Gowns for Good Made in America.
The group aims to raise $250,000 through its GoFundMe page. The initial plan is to produce about 5,000 gowns each week to start through a group of New York-based factories and then 10,000 each week once things get rolling. Each $25 donation allows for a gown to be donated to a frontline medical worker. As part of the Fashion Girls for Humanity effort, the gowns are being produced by small businesses located in New York City’s Garment Center. Several businesses in the Midtown neighborhood have switched tracks to help with PPE production.
The initiative is also supporting the fashion and garment industry throughout the U.S. that has pivoted their manufacturing to support PPE production and to keep their factories running, as well as keeping their respective workers employed.
The four founders of Fashion Girls for Humanity decided on their current plan after spending hours discussing what might be done to help offset the shortage of basic PPE goods, and after getting the views of others in the fashion industry.