PPE now VAT-free and a plea for support for EDN volunteer scrubs makers

1 May 2020

UKFT (the UK association for the fashion and textile industry and drycleaners) advises that from today (1 May) PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a three-month period.

A zero-rate of VAT will apply to sales of personal protective equipment (PPE) for Covid-19 from 1 May 2020 until 31 July 2020. The announcement comes after the Government also removed import duty from PPE.

The UKFT is looking for businesses and individuals who can provide fabric, sewing capabilities or donations in the drive to provide more stocks of PPE for the NHS and care sector.

A group of London-based designers have united to form the Emergency Designer Network (EDN), a volunteer-led enterprise that is galvanising local production to support hospital stocks of key garments such as scrubs.
The group, led by Holly Fulton, Bethany Williams, Phoebe English and Cozette McCreery, is working as a collective with an initial group of 10 small-scale UK manufacturers and designers.
EDN is now looking for people who can support our endeavour, including skilled sewers with sample machinist or garment industry background, manufacturers with sewing capabilities as well as donations – however small – to help fund the purchase of raw materials (NHS-certified fabrics, webbing, thread, and so on). Alternatively, EDN said it can accept some but not all plain 65/30 150gsm poly-cotton fabrics with a preference to mid to light greens and mid to light blues.

As Covid-19 is a global pandemic, EDN is interested in hearing from anyone internationally, and can also openly offer support and insights to those undertaking similar work overseas. Together, the group hopes to make a small-scale yet significant difference to this critical situation.

The scrubs and robes being made by EDN are hospital – but not Government – approved, meaning that they adhere to many, but not all, manufacturing guidelines. These garments are not, and should not to be used in place of, Government PPE.
Garments can instead offer lower level protection to staff and carers or can be worn as an undergarment layer, allowing government-approved PPE to go where it is desperately needed.
All donations (aside from GoFundMe administration charges) are used to purchase cloth and manufacturing components. The EDN team are all volunteers.
To find out more, visit www.emergencydesignernetwork.org
To donate, visit www.gofundme.co/f/emergemcy-designer-network

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