Assemble Lab’s shift in fashion.
Rooted In Fashion
Founded in 2016, Assemble Lab develops and manufactures production for fashion designers. They have in-house pattern maker, sewers, and technical designers. Specializing in various services. Their design services include pattern making, sample making, sourcing fabrics, and flat sketches. Their technical services include tech pack, cost sheets, line sheets, production, branding, and web design.
Most of their clients are New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut based. They started with one client and grew from there. Most of their clients are up and coming designers.
Identifying A Need
“Part of my job here is a Production Manager. I am originally from NY and work closely with the factories there. Late February/early March a factory owner called to say that he is not sure if he can make my deadlines since people are calling in sick and they were all afraid. He was in desperate need of masks and hand sanitizer. I knew if he closed we would be in financial trouble as there is inventory there that our client invested and can’t sell. If they can’t make money then I would be out of a job. That night I went to 25 stores and I found no masks and a few hand sanitizers left in 7/Eleven here in Lowell. I could not believe it. I felt like a fool not realizing all the supplies we need we would be out of for weeks.. We joked about making masks then. He never got around to it as he closed few days later. This is a few weeks before New York made it mandatory to close down. ” – Sharon Drelick, Assemble Lab Founder
Answering The Call
During a press conference the Mayor of New York City put out a call to action, asking all who can sew to step up during this time of need. The team at Assemble Lab knew they had the resources at their disposal, paired with the skills, and the experience of being under pressure to answer this call. Timing was on the side of Assemble Lab, as they had recently moved to a more closed off and secured section of Western Avenue Studios, adding a sense of safety and isolation needed to help in these challenging times.
Feeling a sense of responsibility to provide for first responders and the healthcare industry, over 1,000 masks were donated. This was a temporary solution as part of their staff could take their work and sew from home. Some of the places they donated masks to include Lowell General Hospital, Lawrence General Hospital, Enterprise Bank, friends/family in need, delivery drivers, Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Exeter Hospital, Meals On Wheels, Amesbury Police Department, Beverly Hospital, elderly care services, and several physical therapists in need. They also made scrub caps for emergency room nurses in New York City.
Being a small business, the crew at Assemble Lab wears many hats beyond their production work. Social media, shipping, customer service, and maintenance. They work hard because they believe in what they’re doing. During this time Assemble Lab is still paying their team, even though they have loss a tremendous amount of their work due to this pandemic and the cost of relevant materials going up. Bringing to light the importance to bring back manufacturing to the United States. This is why they decided to also start selling some masks, though they still plan to continue donating masks as well.
Visit Assemble Lab’s website for more details on purchasing a mask or how you can help their donation efforts.