• MIYABI OYAMADA

Sail Fabric Saves Health Care Workers

August 1, 2020

Miyabi Oyamada


North Sails Japan helped those who are fighting against the COVID-19 by making new products. This action was realized by their inspiration of sail fabric.


The World Today

The world today is almost driven by the coronavirus. In Japan, a self-restraint request has been issued. Japan started fighting against the virus in late January. As the days went by, the number of infected people increased. At the beginning, it was said that infections of younger generations tended to be milder. But now that the virus would mutate, it has become the evil virus that everyone should be aware of. The vicious virus changes the lifestyle of population, economy, and everything.

Around the world, people and governments are making various efforts to prevent medical sector from collapsing. When the essential medical service collapses, the death toll of people infected with coronavirus will increase rapidly. The medical sector in every country has been publicly out-crying. Some actual spots face with a serious shortage of medical supplies, not only face masks but also medical gowns. Instead of real ones, doctors and nurses use plastic bags as gowns.


A-Ha Moment for the Sails Company

North Sails Japan is one of the companies to confront this situation. North Sails has been providing yacht sails to six consecutive gold medalists since the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and boasting a world market share of more than 80%.

It was triggered by a doctor, who himself is a sailor, saying "it's hard to get medical gowns." North Sails thought that their technology of putting a subtle curve on the sail, waterproofing, and blocking the ventilation could be applied for making gowns. Using a thin cloth for tailwind, they made a prototype just in five days. And the evaluation by the doctor who consulted them to check the gown was good. The sail company has also equipped with machines for cutting out the several pieces of same shape at one time, so it is trying to meet as many orders as possible.

The thoughtful gown is supposed to be washed and reused, not to be disposed. Even if washed everyday, it can be reused about 10 times without deteriorating the performance of the fabric. Made of sail fabric that is actually used in sailing competitions, it is lightweight, yet has excellent waterproof and airtight properties and prevents splashes at medical sites. Since the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to next summer, they will now focus on supplying gowns.

A spinnaker gown is priced at 7,000 yen. Gowns have one size only, regardless of height and weight. The special gown site has been created, where people can post their impressions of the gown. Good messages have been sent from many people.


What We Need To Do

Although the gown isn't a perfect medical one, it is full of thoughts to make a gown by using the technology owned by North Sails and that to help those who are at the fighting forefront against the powerful virus.

Each person has different things to do against COVID-19. Now is the time to fully make use of the talent people have. This situation cannot be overcome without human wisdom. Even if it's not a perfect help, there are people who can support such direction. To change this world situation, we need the power of all humanity.


References

https://digital.asahi.com/articles/DA3S14441859.html?_requesturl=articles%2FDA3S14441859.html&pn=3

https://www.northsails.co.jp/north-sails-japan製-スピネーカーガウン/






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