Arab Fashion Council has launched a new initiative to create PPE for frontliners
Fashion designers, cosmetic brands and industry suppliers have been asked to create Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare works in the UAE, including surgical masks and isolation gowns, in a new ‘emergency network’ formed by the Arab Fashion Council.

“The Dubai Health Authority is proud to endorse the Arab Fashion Council’s initiative which highlights the strength of Made-in-UAE and proves how Dubai is taking a leading role and all measures to provide safety to its citizens and residents,” said the Dubai Health Authority.

The new AFC initiative is titled #thread4cause, and aims to respond to high demands for PPE due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as hospitals deal with high numbers of patients.

PPE is defined as protective gear, such as clothing, helmets, goggles or other garments, that protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection.

Members of #thread4cause will create items such as masks, gowns, hoodies and locally made sanitisers for medical workers, in full compliance with the UAE and Dubai’s legislations, as well as specifications and standards approved by the DHA.

“We are aware of the potential number of brands that could try to benefit from this situation and we ensure to keep a track and all the production and enable the consumer to verify the product’s date on the website using the latest technology,” said Ayman Al Bayaa, the chief legal officer at the AFC and a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

To ensure their legitimacy, AFC will run their products through a tracking system on their website, using Artificial Intelligence Technology. After receiving approval from the DHA over the safety of the products, the products will receive a green checkmark in the system.

Marmar Halim, a Dubai-based designer of Egyptian origin, represents one of the first Arab brands to adhere to the AFC’s new initiative.

“[He] showcased a very professional capacity to go beyond creativity in producing Personal Protection Equipment in quality and quantity of millions of surgical masks,” said Mohammed Aqra, the chief strategy officer at the AFC.

Halim wrote: “Our fashion house and factory will be putting its resources at full capacity to produce medical gowns and surgical masks, proudly #MadeInUAE for the medical community front-liners fighting COVID-19.”

He added: “Special thanks to Arab Fashion Council who has given its support to make this project viable. #TimeToGiveBacktoUAE.”