Mustang wasted no time altering its factory to produce gowns for health care workers treating Covid-19 patients.
Mustang Survival specializes in offshore survival gear, namely life jackets and survival suits, but the Canadian company is now making an even more important piece of survival gear: hospital gowns.
As Covid-19 cases escalated and supplies of medical equipment dwindled, Mustang Survival saw an opportunity to make a difference. They jumped into the effort to protect hospital workers on the front lines. As gaps in the supply chain were putting health care workers at risk, the company worked with local health officials and partnered with several apparel makers in their area to create high-quality isolation gowns that meet very stringent certification standards.
On April 1, the Mustang Survival factory in British Columbia produced its first 500 fully waterproof gowns, bringing a “new level of safety to frontline healthcare workers.”
“There was a need to get ahead of the problem and look to local sources to solve it,” said Mark Anderson, head of engineering at Mustang Survival and chair of the B.C. Apparel and Gear Association.
Diving into prototyping and rapid testing, Mustang Survival flipped their innovation lab into a rapid-response facility dedicated to finding a solution to this public safety crisis. The effort has resulted in a gown that provides an increased level of safety for the workers without placing more demand on depleted supply chains.
The gowns had to be made to exact specifications, but because the material normally used for medical gowns is in short supply worldwide, Mustang looked at the materials they were already using in waterproof jackets and dry suits to fit a new need. The gowns are made with a waterproof, breathable membrane similar to what you’d see in a rain jacket. The gowns are also washable and reusable.
Once the plans are approved, Mustang Survival says it will share the technical specifications so manufacturers all over the world can rally their own communities and unite suppliers with sewers to bring these gowns to their local healthcare teams. The hope is to “eliminate time spent on ideas that can’t be certified and focus on producing gowns that offer assured safety—making sure that frontline health workers feel confident that they are safe while supporting patients,” the company said.
Vancouver Coastal Health made an initial order of 90,000 units and since news got out, hospitals across Canada and the U.S. have inundated the company with more requests. Mustang Survival, which can currently produce 5,000 gowns a week, went to work with two other local manufacturers to meet demand.
“Now we are looking to other manufacturers in Canada who can also change their operations to produce the gowns,” said Jo Salamon, Mustang Survival communications manager. “We are fortunate to be in an area that has a cluster of talented designers, engineers, patternmakers and apparel manufacturers who were eager to collaborate on the solution. It’s been a team effort between Mustang Survival, Arc’teryx, The Boardroom Cloathing and KenDor Textiles, and we couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved.”