Hannah Wroe (University of Lincoln, UK). ‘Scrubbers at work’: The UK dressmakers’ collective response to COVID19
Started by frontline nurse Ashleigh Lindsell, #Fortheloveofscrubs called on UK home dressmakers to produce the scrubs required by NHS and care workers during the COVID19 pandemic. Against the broader social and economic context, this paper explores how civilian making as a response to national crisis offers both practical support to frontline workers and a way for individuals to contribute, connect and enact national duty, drawing parallels with Queen Mary’s Needlework 1914 Campaign. The power of ‘handmade’ in both contemporary and historical contexts enables garments to move beyond utility. Evidenced through the creative use of domestic materials, care labels and embroidered messages garments created by #Fortheloveofscrubs hold messages of hope for those at the frontline. Within this period of social distancing, how has #Fortheloveofscrubs offered a creative response to meet the needs of both individual makers isolated at home and workers in medical and care settings?