An Open Letter to Healthcare Professionals

Because you deserve better.

To those that help others:

From day one, my friend Uli Becker and I insisted whatever we did, it was going to have a purpose. A purpose beyond what we had ever done before. Our journey did not begin by simply building scrubs for healthcare professionals.

We had a passion to build “gear” that helps you look better, feel better, and perform better. We asked ourselves, how do we translate earlier success in building gear for athletes to success in the healthcare field?

Our first aha moment occurred when we considered the 50 combined years of athletic industry experience we shared. We were athletes. We know what athletes need to perform. Later in my career, I took a break from the sports industry and started a career in healthcare. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by intelligent people who understood the caregivers’ needs. My job allowed me to travel and experience nearly 50% of our nation’s hospitals. I got to talk to the healthcare professional, listen to them, and learn from them.

When serving the healthcare industry, focus is always on finding the latest technology to diagnose disease and heal the sick. But the focus is never on the industry’s greatest asset — the caregiver.

I got to talk to the healthcare professional, listen to them, and learn from them.

We thought, wouldn’t it be great to do something for the ones who tirelessly help others? Whose job it is to serve day after day?

A uniform. That was it.

Athletes wear uniforms to be identified and to enhance performance. We saw the parallels with the caregiver: a crossroad between healthcare and sport. Billions of dollars are spent every year in developing gear for athletes to perform better and to win championships, while caregivers have scrubs that consist primarily of non-tech fabrics and non-performance designs, and focus only on color.

Healthcare professionals deserve a uniform that helps them to compete every single day to save lives.

We set out to build a brand for the nurse, the doctor, or the clinician with this simple goal in mind: be the best. We were given the name Aegle Gear and our logo by a sport industry icon, Peter Moore. Aegle stands for the Greek goddess of radiant health and beauty, the first nurse to attend to the gods. How fitting for Peter to name our company after her.

Our logo has a hint of the anarchist symbol. Now don’t go thinking we are anarchist at Aegle Gear. For me, this symbolizes that we will not stand for the status quo when developing our products. We added Gear to our name because that’s what we make. Gear that enables you to perform more comfortably and safely.

George Brown, CEO of Aegle Gear

George Brown, President & Founder of Aegle Gear

Our inspiration for the product line came from athletic apparel. We watched both athletes and healthcare professionals perform and saw similar movements in their actions. We saw how both groups stressed their uniforms. We noted the variety of climate and stressful situations they worked in, and we knew we had to build something different that helped protect, comfort, and last.

We started first with the base layer. Something that could be worn under the uniform that would support the muscles and manage body temperature, while being comfortable — and looking good enough to work out in. Wanna go for a run after work? No problem.

The biggest challenge we faced came when we started building the uniform. We needed to stay traditional in the overall look of scrubs, but we had to add comfort and functionality. After studying the movements of caregivers — how they bend, lift, run from room to room — we built the uniform to move with them. We didn’t just add pockets. We added pockets that were styled for your needs. Pockets that hold a phone, keys, scissors, and hemostats. And for guys, we added a zipper fly to the pant.. we think you’ll thank us later.

Finally, we built the outer layer to allow for warming comfort and protection against the weather when you meet the emergency crew at the ED doors. We even thought about the night shift worker. We added reflective ink to our logos so you feel safer when crossing the parking lot late at night.

It took almost two years to develop the fabric that we use in our product. A durable fabric that reminds you of your favorite athletic apparel when you put it on. It had to be soft, but we added our own micro rip-stop for durability. We wanted the fabric to have both antimicrobial capabilities and fluid repellant finish. A fabric equipped to ensure bacteria couldn’t survive and grow. A fabric that pushes water and blood off so it’s not absorbed. And lastly, we had to have a fabric that resisted fading and would last longer than traditional scrubs.

We chose Portland, Oregon to host our design and development team. Why? Because it’s the epicenter of athletic wear development, hosting other companies like Nike, Adidas, and Columbia Sportswear. Brands we know very well.

I knew I was on the right track after a conversation with a particular nurse. I asked her, “How often do people say thank you for what you do?” She got a little teary eyed, and said she doesn’t do what she does for thanks. She only wants to do something good.

We want to do something good. Something good for the healthcare professional. It’s our way of giving back and paying respect — with apparel made just for the healthcare professional. (Although I’ll admit, I do wear the pants every now and then for a hike.)

We will continue to promote comfort and wellness for the caregiver. After all, if you don’t feel good, how can you care for others?

Aegle Gear will continue to challenge itself to be the brand that cares for the caregiver.

— George Brown
President & Founder, Aegle Gear