Whitby, Ont., business owner switches gears to make personal protective equipment

A Whitby, Ont., business owner is now donating her time to help make personal protective equipment.

She just opened her own storefront in January, but was forced to close her doors.

“Every day we go as fast as we can,” says Meredith Brookings, who makes PPE for workers across the province.

Brookings is the owner of Couture Alterations, a store meant to alter wedding gowns, prom dresses and other products. But once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she had to shut down, after just opening her doors earlier in the year.

“It was very disappointing to have to close just weeks after opening, but being able to help is nice.”

This operation is not a small venture for the seamstress. With the help of her family she is making around 100 masks a day and hands them out to front-line workers at nursing homes and long-term care homes all over.

“We’ve delivered to Participation House, Pinecrest Nursing Home up in Bobcaygeon, the Canadian Mental Health Association.”

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The venture is entirely non-profit, working off of donations with volunteers and donated material. Her operation makes gowns, masks and scrub caps around the clock.

Although this isn’t making any money for her business, she says it’s all worth it when there’s so many people in need.

Robbins says with the challenges those with impairments can present, having a mask like this can help people hard of hearing to communicate better.

Along with a few volunteers and Meredith’s own family, Brookings has been making protective equipment for the past few weeks. Her children, Alivia and Annabella, who are currently out of school, have also been on the assembly line helping their mom.

They say they’re happy to be part of something bigger that can help keep people safe.

“People are really sick and we help them a lot,” they say — a sentiment they share with their mom.

“Everybody’s in this together,” says Brookings.

“Stronger together. we’re trying to just help everybody.”

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