Made in Donegal: The Fashion Students Contributing to the Frontline

Photo illustrating the news item

A team of LYIT Fashion students, lecturers and helpers have begun using their skills to run up scrubs for staff in the Covid-19 fight at Letterkenny University Hospital

Over 600 gowns have been produced to protect local healthcare staff as they treat Covid-19 patients. Sewing machines have been on the go across the county as 23 people joined the initiative, taking waste material from the hospital to transform into well-fitted personal protection equipment (PPE).

In less than a week, the project has already proven to be a hugely valuable contribution to Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH).

BA Fashion with Promotion Lecturer Sharon Maxwell said: “Everybody wants to help, that’s why I am so proud of the students. They are under so much pressure to get their final collections made but if you can do anything to help healthcare workers, who have the toughest job of all, that’s definitely a priority.”

Students and helpers, working from home, have been carefully recreating scrubs using a pack, pattern and sample developed by Sharon with guidance from HSE staff.

The project has allowed students to tap into fundamental design skills. “In fashion, we are so used to using waste fabrics. We always work on the most sustainable way to make and recycle material now so what we are doing really is zero waste. Every single bit of fabric is used. We’re even taking elastic for the ties,” Sharon said.

All sewers have been issued with masks and antibacterial gels to ensure safe production. The team is made up of students, graduates, LYIT staff members, teachers Martina and Noreen from Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada on Arranmore Island, Sharon’s sister-in-law Collette, and three dressmakers from Donegal Town. “It feels so good to help,” Sharon adds.

The gowns have already been delivered to the HSE for packing and distribution among staff.

6 May 2020