A team of LYIT Fashion students, teachers 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 are being 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).

Photo: LYIT BA Fashion with Promotion
LYIT Fashion with Promotion Graduate Niamh Porter joins the effort. Photo: Liam Porter

In less than a week, the project has already proven to be a hugely valuable contribution to 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.

Photo: LYIT BA Fashion with Promotion

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 antibacterials 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, three dressmakers from Donegal Town.

“It feels so good to help,” Sharon adds.

Up to 300 gowns have already been delivered to the HSE for packing and distribution among staff, and that amount is set to be doubled by the end of this week.