New York Times commissions hospital gown redesign

In an issue dedicated to the current fixation on improving everything, The New York Times Magazine explores a redesign of the hospital gown.

"There was — and is — always room for improvement. The litmus test is urgency: Is a redesign really necessary?" asks Paola Antonelli, senior curator at New York's Museum of Modern Art, in The New York Times Magazine feature asking six designers to take on redesign challenges.

The hospital gown redesign may not feel urgent to some healthcare providers, particularly when they are focused on improving so many other aspects of care. However, the traditional hospital garment, which leaves patients' backsides out in the open, can affect comfort, stress and self-esteem during the healing process, according to the report.

Some hospitals have already chosen to revamp their own gowns. Cleveland Clinic had designer Diane von Furstenberg reimagine their gowns in 2010 to provide more coverage, and Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System teamed up with clothier Carhartt in 2015 to develop the "Model G" robe-like gown made of cotton-poplin.

For their hospital gown resdesign, The New York Times tapped Lucy Jones, who was named Parsons Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2015 for designing a collection of clothes for people in wheelchairs.

The redesigned hospital gown looks like an oversized T-shirt with full coverage, front and back. It snaps together at the chest, sides and back so providers can access areas of the body for examination. Plus, it's made of tencel — a fabric partially made from recycled materials that is more absorbent than cotton, which lends antibacterial qualities to the gown, according to the report.

See the hospital gown redesign here.


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