Dear Care+Wear community,
This time last year, it was hard to imagine that the 2021 summer would be spent surrounded by friends and loved ones, or surrounded by anyone at all. I remember the sounds – the clangs and the chimes, the honks and the horns – that rang out nightly for our healthcare heroes – sounds that cascaded down from apartment windows and washed the near-empty, hollowed streets with hope and appreciation. Each day, I looked forward to participating in the joyful commotion at 7 p.m. and recognizing their sacrifice.
Yet now, one year later, after record breakthroughs in science and the millions and millions of vaccines that ensued, so many of us are taking off our masks and returning to a ‘normalcy’ no longer encased in the threat of COVID-19 or the precarity of our health beside it.
But not everyone. Because matching these unbelievable highs in vaccination rates is a devastating counterpoint: the exorbitant number of family members, friends, neighbors, strangers, and healthcare workers we lost, as well as the over 2 million hospitalized in the US for COVID-19. Despite the desire of many to forget the pandemic and leave it behind, to no longer think of hospitals or ambulances and their sirens, 22 million healthcare workers across the United States return every day to provide care, comfort, and companionship to the patients who need them.
22 million healthcare workers go to work – pandemic or not – to do what they do best: treat, heal, and provide quality healthcare day-in, day-out.
As a company built on a commitment to celebrating all those touched by healthcare – whether patient or clinician – we have seen our healthcare workers through this journey. We heard first-hand of the fear on the frontlines, what it meant to be without protection and proper PPE and still decide everyday to put one’s life on the line for the wellbeing of another.
That’s why we pivoted to where we were needed most: manufacturing PPE during a shortage that ricocheted across this country and to nations well-beyond our borders. While we were able to help over 90 hospitals and governments with PPE, there is still so much more to do.
But it is also why, one year later, as those who used to bang pots and pans and paint ‘Thank You’ on walls resume pre-pandemic routines and behaviors, we at Care+Wear are reminded of why we first came to be.
We are reminded that despite the sacrifice, bravery, brilliance, and kindness of our nurses, surgeons, primary care doctors, and other clinicians, those in the healthcare industry are chronically overlooked, forever forgotten by the industries built for joy, self-expression, and celebration like the fashion industry is.
That’swhy we created Care+Wear – to prove the need for ‘healthwear’ that bridges fashion and function, that ensures medically superior innovation can stand beside fashion-forward design. To prove the need to create apparel that honors our healthcare workers not just in times of crisis, but in the small moments in-between – during the times when all we need is a hand to hold, a joke to laugh to, or a smiling face.
So while I look back in awe at how far we have come, I look forward to all the places we still must go – toward a future where honoring those who stand beside us during our toughest of times is the new normal, toward a landscape of reinvented industries that put care at their core.
CEO & Founder of Care+Wear