Family Textile Business Now Makes Medical Gowns to Survive

By Jessie Zhang
Jessie Zhang
Jessie Zhang
Jessie Zhang is a reporter based in Sydney, Australia, covering news on health and science.
April 24, 2020Updated: April 24, 2020

An Australian family-owned business has pivoted from its usual production to manufacture thousands of medical-grade surgical gowns in the fight against the CCP virus pandemic.

Clets Linen & Co. will produce 3,750 disposable isolation gowns in its first production run for the National Medical Stockpile.

The company normally specialises in linens and garments for the event and hospitality industry, but that industry has ground to a halt after cancellations following restrictions put in place by the government due to the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus.

The family-owned textile manufacturer began operating in 1994 from its factory in Victoria.

“It’s great that we can unite as one to assist our frontliners in this time of need,” Managing Director Lisa Pachos said on April 24. “It will be good to get manufacturing back into Australia to get us to stand on our own two feet.”

Federal Industry Minister Karen Andrews said Clets Linen’s willingness to adapt to the challenges is proof of an agile and adaptable textile, clothing, and footwear industry.

“This is a big win for Australian manufacturing and contributes to building sovereign capability in the supply chains most affected by COVID-19,” Andrews said.

Victoria is also home to Australia’s only local mask manufacturing company, Med-Con.

The Australian government provided Med-Con with a $1.44 million (US$910,000) grant, allowing it to make nearly one million masks per week to meet demand.