Changing the Scrubs Game: How FIGS Is Thriving by Giving Back
More and more companies are making it part of their mission to do good in the world through charitable initiatives, and healthcare apparel is no exception. FIGS Scrubs is doing incredible things in the world — both for fashion design and social responsibility. We’ve partnered with them to offer our alumni discounts on their excellent scrubs, but we like the company so much we wanted to learn and share more.
If you’ve spent any time in them, you know that some scrubs can be boxy, baggy, scratchy, or hinder comfort and functionality for nurses, medical assistants, and other medical professionals as they move through their busy days. And when people think fashion, scrubs isn’t the first type of clothing that comes to mind.
Heather Hasson, CEO of FIGS, set out to change the way we view our modern medical uniforms. She’s given scrubs a makeover by designing clothing that medical professionals would enjoy wearing. And her way of giving back to the global nursing community? FIGS’ program Threads for Threads donates scrubs to nurses and other healthcare workers in areas where top-quality uniforms aren’t easy to come by.
It all started when Hasson had coffee with a nurse practitioner friend who was on a quick break from her hospital job. As her friend tugged up her sagging scrub pants for the third time, she exclaimed that she couldn’t stand her workwear — but there was nothing else available.
With a background in fashion and knowing the complexity of the apparel landscape, Hasson couldn’t believe there weren’t better options for her friend. There had to be a line of comfortable, functional, and flattering scrubs on the market. After searching for months for comfortable and functional scrubs, she realized she had to take matters into her own hands.
Hasson borrowed a pair of her friend’s scrubs and completely redesigned them, taking in the inseam, moving the pockets, bringing in the shoulders, and more. Her friend adored them — and so did her friend’s colleagues. As word spread, Hasson started receiving more and more calls to fix scrubs. Soon after, she turned to her best friend Trina Spear to see if they could collaborate on a larger scale.
They soon realized instead of just fixing scrubs, they needed to create the most technically advanced, comfortable, and beautifully-designed scrubs possible. So they founded FIGS, and the company has thrived ever since as a solution for medical professionals of all specializations.
Related Resource: A History Lesson in Nursing Uniforms
A new scrubs vision
FIGS believes someone should put as much care into the workwear of hard-working medical professionals as they put into the care of their patients. This requires technical apparel that meets the demands of 14+ hour days spent in constant motion and contact with colleagues, patients, and patients’ family members. FIGS creates technical designs made with antimicrobial, wrinkle resistant, and durable fabrics that are also supremely soft to the touch, lightweight, and breathable. Needless to say, the line quickly became a hit.
Soon after, Threads for Threads was born. FIGS’ founders didn’t want to stop at creating their apparel line. They decided to improve healthcare throughout the world with a creative solution to donate a pair of FIGS scrubs for every pair sold. This policy laid FIGS’ foundation for generosity, providing doctors, nurses, and medical assistants in underserved areas of the globe with new, high-quality scrubs.
Q&A with FIGS
We recently talked with FIGS about their journey from that first conversation over coffee to their becoming a leading company and force for good in the scrubs industry:
How does the durability FIGS Scrubs compare with others?
We focus on creating a premium product by using Technical Comfort. It is the principle that your workwear is more than just a uniform. It moves, performs, and reacts. It is surprisingly beautiful and unexpectedly functional. It is durable, yet comfortable, and provides both freedom and restraint. It’s designed to appeal to every sense and sensation. Technical Comfort is our foundation, built on product quality with a relentless focus on three key areas: comfort, technology, and design.
What inspired the Threads for Threads initiative?
Heather Hasson, CEO of FIGS, has been donating uniforms to Vietnam since she was 19 years old. After visiting resource-poor areas, she noticed that many medical professionals do not have access to basic medical supplies — including scrubs. Many healthcare providers that receive our scrubs have never owned a set before. So the second they put on FIGS, a sense of happiness, pride, and excitement fills them. Through our Threads for Threads initiative, we have donated over 75,000 sets of scrubs and reduced hospital-acquired infection rates by 66 percent.
How do you choose the recipients of Threads for Threads?
We work with various nonprofits, NGOs, and universities attending medical missions around the world. We have partnered with organizations such as International Medical Corps, Smile Train, Stony Brook University, and Project C.U.R.E. Our high-need medical facility partnerships are ongoing. We have been partnering with Project C.U.R.E. since the beginning of FIGS.
FIGS for Ameritech Alumni
With its focus on comfort and its commitment to social good, FIGS looks to have a bright future on the horizon.
If you’re an alumnus of one of Ameritech’s programs, you can buy your own FIGS scrubs for a special Ameritech alumni discount. Visit our alumni facebook page for details. In the meantime, head over to the FIGS website and learn more about Threads for Threads while you’re there!