WORK FROM HOME INITIATIVE

APRIL 2020

THIS PAGE CONTAINS THE ARCHIVED RECORDS OF ADU’S MOBILIZATION IN RESPONSE TO THE GLOBAL PPE (PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT) SHORTAGE THAT OCCURRED IN SPRING OF 2020 DURING THE INITIAL SPIKE(S) OF COVID-19 IN NORTH AMERICA. 

ADU’S WORK-FROM-HOME INITIATIVE WAS INSPIRED BY THE DECENTRALIZED ACTIONS OF OUR COMMUNITY, WHO WERE NATURALLY MOTIVATED TO START PRODUCING REUSABLE FABRIC MASKS TO PROTECT FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND ESSENTIAL WORKERS IN NEED. MANY OF THESE STITCHERS WERE FACTORY WORKERS, WHOSE WORKPLACES HAD BEEN SHUTTERED BY THE PANDEMIC. OTHERS WERE SELF-EMPLOYED DESIGNERS & FREELANCERS, WHOSE WORK HAD DRIED UP DUE TO SAFETY RESTRICTIONS. WHILE THEIR SALARIED PEERS HAD THE LUXURY OF TRANSITIONING TO ZOOM MEETINGS, TEXTILE WORKERS HAD NO SUCH SAFEGUARD FROM THE ECONOMIC PERILS OF THE SHUT-DOWN. IT WAS THIS TROUBLING SCENARIO THAT INSPIRED THE AUTONOMOUS DESIGN UNION TO CREATE OUR EMERGENCY PPE WORK-FROM-HOME INITIATIVE.

 

EARLY ON IN THE PANDEMIC, MEMBERS OF OUR NETWORK OBSERVED THAT THE SUPPLY CHAIN OF BOTH FINISHED MASKS AND RAW MATERIALS NEEDED FOR PRODUCTION OF MASKS WERE BECOMING SCARCE, IN STORES AND ONLINE. ADDITIONAL CHALLENGES INCLUDED THE EVER-CHANGING STREAM OF INFORMATION ON OUR DEVELOPING UNDERSTANDING OF THE VIRUS, AS WELL AS CONSTANTLY-UPDATING GOVERNMENTAL REGULATION REGARDING THE PRODUCTION & SALE OF PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT. SEVERAL DEDICATED MEMBERS OF OUR NETWORK DEVOTED COUNTLESS HOURS TO THE DEVELOPMENT STAGE OF THIS INITIATIVE, IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE A HIGH LEVEL OF SAFETY PRECAUTION AND ACCESSIBILITY IN BALANCE WITH A PACE AND SCALE THAT ENABLED US TO SERVE AS MANY MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY WITH SAFE, DIGNIFIED WORK AS POSSIBLE. OVER FIFTY MAKERS IN OUR COMMUNITY SIGNED UP TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR INITIATIVE. DUE TO LIMITATIONS IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN, OUR INITIAL RUN OF 1000 MASKS WAS PRODUCED BY A CORE TEAM OF 12 STITCHERS IN LOCKDOWN, WITH PREP LABOR PROVIDED BY 5 ADDITIONAL (ISOLATED) WORKERS WITH ACCESS TO PRIVATE INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT.

 

OUR DEVELOPMENT TEAM PRODUCED A 5-MINUTE MASK DESIGN TUTORIAL VIDEO IN A “ISOLATION FACTORY” MODEL, WHICH UTILIZES AFFORDABLE MATERIALS AND TOOLS FOUND IN MOST STITCHER’S HOMES. USING SCALABLE FACTORY METHODS, OUR TEAM SOURCED, CUT, BATCHED, & BUNDLED ALL THE MATERIALS NEEDED TO PRODUCE ONE THOUSAND REUSABLE/RESIZABLE COTTON MASKS BASED ON THIS METHOD. EACH BUNDLE WAS DELIVERED TO A STITCHER’S HOME IN A CONTACTLESS MANNER, AND ALL MASKS WERE SANITIZED BETWEEN PRODUCTION AND FINAL DELIVERY. EACH STITCHER WAS PROVIDED WITH A STEP-BY-STEP ILLUSTRATED GUIDE AS WELL AS THE VIDEO TUTORIAL. ALL MASKS PRODUCED WERE DISTRIBUTED TO MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY AT COST (WHICH MEANS THE CUSTOMER PAYS THE SAME PRICE WE PAID THE STITCHERS PER MASK, WITH NO PROFIT). ALL STITCHERS AND PREP LABOR WERE PAID A PRE-NEGOTIATED WAGE, EITHER PER PIECE OR PER HOUR. MANY MASKS WERE PURCHASED PRIVATELY FOR DISTRIBUTION TO ESSENTIAL WORKERS. OTHERS WERE PROVIDED TO THE PUBLIC FOR FREE AT DEMONSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT THE SEASON. 

 

ADU IS EXTREMELY PROUD TO HAVE SUPPORTED OUR NETWORK OF STITCHERS WITH DIGNIFIED WORK-FROM-HOME DURING THE COVID-19 ECONOMIC CRISIS. WE ARE EQUALLY HONORED TO HAVE SUPPLIED OUR COMMUNITY WITH RAPIDLY-PRODUCED & THOUGHTFULLY-DESIGNED SAFETY EQUIPMENT DURING A CRITICAL SHORTAGE. THANK YOU FOR REVIEWING OUR ARCHIVED DOCUMENTS FROM THIS PHASE OF OUR WORK.