A family-owned Victorian business is the first Australian manufacturer to adapt their supply chain to produce medical grade surgical gowns for frontline workers against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clets Linen & Co Pty Ltd, which normally specialises in linen and garments for hospitality and other industries, will provide 3,750 disposable isolation gowns to the National Medical Stockpile in its first production run.
Industry, science and technology minister, Karen Andrews, said Clets Linen’s willingness to adapt to the challenges brought by COVID-19 demonstrates the agility and capability of Australia’s Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) industry.
She believes the new domestic supply chain will support skilled TCF workers “beyond the short term”.
“This is a big win for Australian manufacturing and contributes to building sovereign capability in the supply chains most affected by COVID-19,” she said.
“In addition to securing supplies of medical grade isolation gowns to the Stockpile, the federal government has been working hand in glove with the TCF industry and the states and territories to establish a domestic manufacturing footprint.”
Disposable isolation gowns are made from non-woven polypropylene fabric and constructed using specialised materials and processes, including ultrasonic welding machinery and highly skilled operators.
Clets Linen managing director, Lisa Pachos, said it was important to assist front liners during times of need.
“It will be good to get manufacturing back into Australia to get us to stand on our own two feet,” she said.
Clets Linen is a family owned Australian manufacturing business, which has been operating from its factory in Heidelberg, Victoria since 1994.
The contract is the result of ongoing discussions between the federal government, the TCF industry and industry groups.