From slow fashion to scrubs: The Mancunian brand dressing the NHS
They completely pivoted their clothing brand to focus on making scrubs when the pandemic first hit
Manchester is a kind and generous community at heart – and NEMCEE is the perfect case in point.
This slow-made clothing company has put functionality and kindness at the core of its business values since the beginning – and this was never more apparent than in the ‘Do Good Project’ launched during the dawn of the pandemic.
When NHS workers were placed under immense pressure last spring, NEMCEE – which is operated by a single set of hands in a Northern Quarter attic – stepped in to help combat the shortage of scrubs.
Despite being a small business that couldn’t match the production of big factories, the brand wanted to help in any way it could, supplying clothes wherever possible.
“I knew I couldn’t make them fast enough for the turnover front-line workers required,” says Niamh, the founder of NEMCEE and brains behind the ‘Do Good Project’.
“I decided I’d make hard-wearing sets in organic cotton for those not on the frontline who couldn’t order the more disposable ones due to the shortages.”
NEMCEE recognised the importance of NHS staff who weren’t on ICU wards, yet still deserved comfortable and free hardwearing workwear in order to focus on their roles.
Due to operating as an extremely small business, the funds to fully support this endeavour weren’t there. But this was no pitfall for NEMCEE, who launched their ‘Do Good Project’ in response.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t in a position to buy all the fabric and just make them. So I launched the ‘Do Good Project’,” explains Niamh.
“A customer could buy a jacket or a pair of slacks at the cost price of the item and a set of hardwearing scrubs for an NHS worker.”
NEMCEE offered a simple jacket style and existing #004 slacks at a reduced price, allowing customers to contribute towards the donation of scrubs while NEMCEE continued to make them.
Niamh launched NEMCEE after finishing her MA at Manchester Fashion Institute, aiming to create a collection of easy-to-wear garments made to last.
“We want to make practical clothing to last rather than fit into a trend.”, says Niamh, who is eager to spread the message of clothing that is utilitarian, durable and comfortable.
The brand uses mostly organic or deadstock fabrics and hard-wearing construction methods, taking pride in versatility and offering clothing that doesn’t conform to labels.
“All our styles are unisex and seasonless, so they’re for anybody”, Niamh explains.
The brand is keen to make clothes that help people live their lives, whether that’s NHS workers or the everyday person.
Although the ‘Do Good Project’ has now ended, NEMCEE is continuing its charitable donations.
“We currently have the fabric option of pink ticking cloth,” Niamh tells us.
“This can be used for various items and includes a £25 breast cancer charity donation.”
You can shop NEMCEE’s slow fashion selection and support their efforts via the company website.