Apparel Production in the new world of COVID‑19 (APNWC): reforming and innovating for PPEs, safe manufacturing environments, and remote workers

Yates, Colin | $63,225

Ontario Fanshawe College 2020 NSERC College COVID-19 Grant

Apparel Production in the new world of COVID‑19 (APNWC) builds upon a prior CCSIF-funded research

initiative, Poorly Made Shirt Workers (PMSW): a social solution for integration into the Canadian workforce

(2018-2020) and a partnership with Goodwill Industries. This previous research increased the value of the

apparel worker’s labour, specifically for newcomers and women, and the value of the garments they produce,

while diverting textile waste from landfill. Prior to the COVID pandemic, outcomes from this project included

a trained workforce for apparel re-manufacturing, and a functioning sewing platform which was producing

re-manufactured goods for a Goodwill Industries social enterprise named WORTH. However the COVID

pandemic has suspended this undertaking. To counter this stoppage and to respond to societal needs, the new

project has three objectives: 1) to design, prototype, and test the methodology necessary to mass-produce 2,500

washable fabric non-medical masks per week, scaling to 20,000+ masks weekly by October 1st; 2) to develop,

prototype, and test a COVID-safe, functioning, sustainable physical sewing platform; and 3) to develop,

prototype, and test a home-based manufacturing network that would offer the legitimization in, and flexibility

of, remote work for Goodwill apparel production employees.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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