Buttoned headbands to protect medical workers ears

Banded Together: support the creation of free button headbands to protect medical workers' ears
#bandedtogether

What they are


We're making headbands for medical workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight to relieve the backs of their ears from painful chafing that comes from wearing elastic masks throughout a long shift.

The headbands are simple - they have a large button positioned right above the ear that elastic loops from masks can hook onto instead of hooking around their ears.  We're making them from a large stash of soft white jersey material and buttons that we had on hand.  Using all white materials means the hairbands can be washed with bleach in between each shift.

Why medical workers need them

A friend who is an RN working in the ICU of a hospital in the Bronx described to me how badly supplies are being rationed.  They are issued one N-95 mask and one surgical mask to wear for a whole week.  She puts the N-95 mask on when she goes into the room with COVID-19 patients, and then switches out to the surgical mask for all other times.  As a result of looping the elastic of the masks behind her ears and changing them out constantly throughout her shift, the backs of her ears are getting totally destroyed.  By wearing one of our simple hairbands (based on an idea seen on the internet), she is able to instead hook the masks over the buttons and give her ears some relief.  One less distraction and pain point so she can focus on the important work in front of her.

Testimonial:

"As an NYC ICU nurse, I am caring for and supporting individuals who are positive for COVID-19 and require ventilator support.  There is no distancing at 6ft apart.  I, along with the rest of our medical team, am face to face with our patients trying to support them through this time.  Being face to face with COVID-19 is a daunting task, one that requires us to wear our N-95 mask protected by our surgical masks for an entire 12.5 hours per day.  The masks cause our noses to bruise, our faces to indent and the backs of our ears to breakdown.  Thanks to Alexandra and her team, we will be able to feel some comfort with the headbands they have manufactured!  We are able to place our N-95 appropriately and attach our surgical masks to the buttons they have placed on the headbands, avoiding the backs of our ears.  Any ounce of comfort in this time of chaos is much appreciated!"
-Lizzy, RN

"It will definitely help us keep our masks on longer and not touch them.  Trust me you don't know how much comfort you are providing!"
-Donya, RN

"You're solving a design edge case that no one thought to anticipate...a simple bit of elastic suddenly makes critical people distracted and in pain. Thanks for such a smart remedy!"
-Charles, donor

"These are amazing! They were all snatched up in less than a minute and we all appreciate it so much! Especially our ears!"
-Courtney, PA

"Just gave out ALL your headbands today at work...the staff loved it!! Raving about them!!  Girl put me in for another order!! They are a hit!!"
-Donya, RN

Why we need your help

60 hairbands are in production currently for one hospital in the Bronx.  But more hospitals are coming out of the woodwork daily and we are getting requests for hundreds more.  So far, Alexandra and her mom Charlotte have been sewing the hairbands themselves, but in order to meet demand we can activate the professional seamstresses who normally sew our pillows.  So far all of our own time and materials have been donated, and we are giving away the hairbands for free, but we cannot afford to pay outside labor on our own.  So we are asking for donations to support the payroll to have professional seamstresses sew the hairbands too.  We will also be running out of our button stash soon and will need to buy more.  We are not looking to turn any profit from fundraising.  We are simply trying to cover some out of pocket costs as we scale up to meet demand.  All hairbands funded through GoFundMe will be donated free of charge to medical workers fighting COVID-19.

Are you a medical worker who would like hairbands for your department?

Hit the "contact" button below and send us a note.  Please be sure to include the hospital where you are working, and a ball park quantity of how many you think your department/hospital could use.
Send us your pics!  Instagram: tag @alexandrafergusonllc #bandedtogether

Who we are

alexandra ferguson (www.alexandraferguson.com) is known for sassy pillows featuring fun and tactile phrases such as "I Love this Place" and "Be Nice or Leave."  Founded in 2009, the company is also known for it's local NYC manufacturing and use of eco-friendly materials.  As soon as Alexandra heard the call-to-action issued by Governor Cuomo to the fashion industry to support the medical workers with the shortage of supplies, she immediately started reaching out to government and industry associations to volunteer her expertise and sewing resources, but it turned out the needs were right there amongst her friends and family who were members of the medical community in New York.  Within 24 hours of getting her hairband marching orders, she delivered the first set, and within 72 hours, requests for hundreds more had come in.

Hey, why do you own so much white jersey?
(I thought your pillows were made from linen and recycled felt?)  

30 years ago, my mom, who has a fashion designer/seamstress background, made herself a white jersey dress and my dad thought she looked really hot in it.  So he went on a buying spree picking up cuttings of white jersey at every opportunity in the hopes that she would make herself more dresses.  Like, he couldn't stop.  He died in 1997, and at some point the huge bins of jersey were passed down to me "to do something with."  Never touched, they were carted between four different offices over the last decade, finally settling in to clear storage bins in the basement.  Until, that is, last weekend, when finally they found a purpose.  Although quite a far cry from his original intention, I think Dad would be pleased with how they ended up.47089002_158570722252379_r.jpeg47089002_1585707245281730_r.jpeg47089002_1585707261950479_r.jpeg47089002_1585764349750772_r.jpeg

Donations

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  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 4 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
  • Amos Hochstein 
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
  • Laura Lucas Magnuson 
    • $50 
    • 4 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $5 
    • 4 mos
See all

Organizer

Alexandra Ferguson 
Organizer
New Rochelle, NY
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