UK fancy dress retailer scrubs up

Owner of UK fancy dress hire business The Dressing Up Shop has been dedicating her time to making scrubs for frontline medical workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shirlee Gibbs has been the sole proprietor of her Aldershot-based business for more than 30 years and has been completely closed since 23 March.

“The nature of the hire business means there’s nothing I can do about that,” she pragmatically told in last week’s retailer Zoom conference.

Shirlee started making the scrubs after one week of lockdown,  when her niece sent her a link to Scrubs, Glorious Scrubs, which had been set up by a designer clothing business in Ascot.

“I really felt that it was the least I could do,” she said, “and I am so glad I did. Everyone is going to continue sewing until we are no longer needed.”

The voluntary sewing collaborative currently has over 400 seamstresses up and down the UK making essential non-surgical scrubs and bags for the UK’s NHS workers.

“They made a pattern which we could download and use our own fabric,” Shirlee explained. “After I had used up all the fabric I had brought home to sew for my local pantomime, I went to their factory and picked up ready-cut fabric set. I’ve made 30 sets so far!”

She continued: “We were encouraged to put a note in to say why we had done this and I had a lovely  message back from two nurses from the Royal Surrey in Guildford who had received my scrubs and who had actually hired costumes from the shop for a Secret Cinema event. They were very touched that people showed they cared.”

Anyone who would like to get involved can still do so. Full information can be found at to Scrubs, Glorious Scrubs.

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