A set of scrubs sewn by a University of Dundee volunteer responding to the need for medical clothing in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic have been donated to The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery & Museum. The scrubs, sewn by Jane Keith, founder of the DJCAD Scrub Hub, will be placed in the permanent collection at The McManus, serving as a reminder of the collaborative effort of University staff and the local community during the pandemic.
Last year, when Covid-19 first took hold on the city, NHS Tayside asked all patient-facing staff who previously wore their own clothes, such as doctors and consultants, to wear scrubs in order to minimise the increased risk of infection and cross-contamination. The additional demand for scrubs was mirrored across the UK, leading to a national shortage.
In response, the DJCAD Scrub Hub was born. Working alongside NHS Tayside, local industry and community volunteers, staff at the University's Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design helped produce thousands of sets of scrubs and face coverings for frontline NHS staff.
The donated scrubs were recently featured in V&A Dundee exhibition 'Now Accepting Contactless: Design in a Global Pandemic', that revealed the many ways designers used their skills in the crisis.
Now that the exhibition has been deinstalled, the set of Tayside Teal scrubs, named after the bespoke colour of fabric manufactured by local textile company Halley Stevenson, will make their way to The McManus.
Jane, Senior Lecturer in Textile Design, said, "I am thrilled that the set will now find a permanent home within The McManus collection. The scrubs serve as a reminder of the resilience and determination of the Dundee community during an incredibly challenging time. It was such an honour to be part of this amazing project."
Billy Gartley, Head of Cultural Services, Leisure and Culture Dundee, said, "We are absolutely delighted to accept the scrubs into the city's permanent collection. Museums across the world have been turning their attention to collecting items that document the pandemic and the scrubs represent a very Dundee response to the challenging times we have lived and continue to live through."
NHS Tayside's Rod Mountain, who helped organise the effort, added, "Volunteers in the community, the University of Dundee and local industry all collaborated towards a common goal - the health and safety of our NHS staff during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. It's great to know it will be remembered."