The outbreak of the coronavirus has instilled a poignant sense of community in many. We may be isolating alone, but it doesn't mean we aren't connecting in powerful ways be it through social media, online initiatives, or even Saturday nights spent with friends halfway across the world via Houseparty. Notably, the fashion industry has stepped up in these trying times, with countless designers and labels utilising their platform to join the fight against COVID-19.
From established luxury fashion houses donating money- through to student designers making DIY face masks, the latest initiative comes via Central Saint Martins' Fashion and Textiles department, which has announced its plan to make non-surgical scrubs for the NHS. Revealed through an Instagram post, in the form of a picture showing the text 'CSM. NHS', the caption explained: "We are asking our students (& the public) to get involved and make scrubs.
With the patterns available for anyone to download, the idea came into being after Oonagh O'Hagan, the Curriculum Leader in Fashion & Textiles, was speaking to a consultant for the NHS who said they were short of scrubs. "I thought she might need visors or masks," O'Hagan explains, "but when she clarified their needs, I thought our students would be able to help."
Initially asking her students to put the 'CSM loves NHS' post on their lnstagram, O'Hagan said soon after they began receiving messages from "lots of people wanting to take part". Now, with a brief on how to design these scrubs being put together by another CSM staff member, Chris Kelly.
Central Saint Martins has, of course, also been affected by the pandemic. With many graduate shows being cancelled and students now entering an uncertain fashion landscape, O' Hagan explains this project is also designed to help the CSM students themselves. "We have incredible students all around the world who we are continuing to teach and support in every way we can," he says. "In fact, this project is as much about the wellbeing of the maker as the wearer. It's good to find a way to help when you may feel helpless."×