Saving Lives, On Land

Saving Lives, On Land

We’re turning our attention to the frontlines.

This time, on land

Responding to the global pandemic—and seeking a way we could leverage 50+ years of engineering experience and technical fabric insight—the Mustang Survival engineering team spent the last two weeks of March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to swell in British Columbia, working closely with the local healthcare sector to rapid prototype and test a safety-certified isolation gown for front-line healthcare workers.

An unexpected result? PPE for hospitals might just be getting redefined in the process.

At 11:00am on April 1, 2020 the Burnaby-based Mustang Survival production facility officially started the initial pilot run of the first 500 Level 3 Isolation Gowns; a fully waterproof medical gown designed, engineered and certified to bring new levels of confidence to our front-line healthcare workers.

Meaning they’ve got a more reliable source of protection, plus there’s a solution for the rapidly growing gap in the supply chain for all medical grade PPE.

“Our 50 year history, of developing innovative solutions for both Military and public safety professionals, combined with the unique advantage of being part of a cutting edge design community here in Vancouver, provides us with the ability to adjust and pivot our focus on developing a solution” - Mark Anderson, Director of Engineering, Mustang Survival

We flipped our Waterlife Studio in Burnaby, BC into a rapid response facility. We’ve rallied together alongside innovative and cutting edge local manufacturers and apparel companies; prototyping and rapid testing to engineer a certifiable solution.

From the initial 500 gowns that went into production at the beginning of April, 10 samples were shared with other local manufacturers setting up to jump on the gown-producing train.

Truly, those 500 gowns are just the beginning. 

The demand for PPE is growing everywhere. And with more hospitals and healthcare workers learning about this initiative, demand is rising. Bringing smaller manufacturers online to ensure we can all contribute to helping support those fighting the pandemic everyday, there are jobs coming back that were hanging in limbo.

Taking this local initiative global, the technical specifications for level 3 and level 2 isolation gowns will be published and shared internationally 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.

It’s our intent to convert our local factory in Burnaby to be dedicated to gown construction. And with more small sewers and manufacturers back online in Vancouver and surrounding areas, our capacity as a collective producer of these gowns knows no bounds. We can make an incredible impact when we rally together.

The story first hit the news through the BC Apparel and Gear Association - marking the collaboration that was needed to get these gowns rolling into production as a key element of this agility and pivoting success.

Since then, it’s been highlighted by media outlets like the CBC, and BC Business.

Likewise, Mustang Survival is deploying some of its US-based manufacturing resources alongside their US based parent company The Wing Group that are currently producing 1,500 gowns for the West Virginia National Guard.

The Wing Group is looking to secure a contract with FEMA which will enable them to create a rapid growth pipeline to manufacture this same high-quality reusable healthcare PPE in the US and around the world.

Together we are confident the collective capacity to produce these gowns can make a significant contribution to those putting their lives at risk every day to fight the virus. 

Stay tuned for updates on this story.