Embroidery Service
(*from just £2.50)

Free UK Delivery
(*on orders over £75)

UK Manufactures
since 1950

Speedy Delivery
on all Stocked Items

Embroidery Service
(*from just £2.50)

Free UK Delivery
(*on orders over £75)

UK Manufactures
since 1950

Speedy Delivery
on all Stocked Items

Scrub up for a fascinating journey!

Medical scrubs are an evolution – and a very welcome one at that.

An essential part of infection control, they’ve been evolving over the last 100 years or so but the versions we recognise today – and who isn’t familiar with the sight and symbolism of scrubs since the pandemic – largely emerged during the mid to late 20th century.

Here’s a potted, and at times unpleasant, history!

First there was the 1800s surgeon’s frock coat; stained (with all sorts as you can imagine) and unwashed from previous operations according to the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Yes, surgeons wore their own clothes to carry out operations, even keeping their sewing needles in their lapels! It was a bare handed, non-sterile experience which often sadly ended in death for the patient.

When infection and cleanliness came to light in the mid 1800s things started to improve in terms of bacteria control around instruments and wounds. But surgeons simply swapped the frock coat for unsterilised ‘butcher’s aprons’ and that was more to protect their own clothes than the patient.

It wasn’t until the end of the century that white gowns were introduced.

World War One and the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918 saw the addition of caps, face masks and rubber gloves in operating theatres.

A white standard surgical uniform – gowns and trousers – became commonplace by the 1940s as part of preventing post-operative infections.

However, the white, combined with the bright operating lights, caused eyestrain so most hospitals introduced gowns in shades of green by the 60s.

It was these ‘surgical greens’ which became ‘scrubs’, so called because they’re worn in a ‘scrubbed’ or sterile environment.

By the 70s scrubs had pretty much evolved into the modern version we see today – a unisex two piece comprising of a short-sleeved V-neck and drawstring scrub trousers – designed to be both comfortable and durable.

In hospitals and beyond!

Today’s scrubs are available in a host of colours which tend to be selected according to the healthcare profession or role.

The Harveys scrubs range includes blue, green and pink shades, along with burgundy, light purple and black options.

Through our embroidery service they can be even be branded or personalised for individuality.

And they’re no longer just the mainstay of hospitals. They’re now seen across many healthcare settings including nursing homes, dental surgeries and veterinary surgeries.

Due to their comfort and flexibility factor, they’re often worn by those working in physio and occupational therapies and with Covid-demands for sanitisation they’re now being seen among high street practitioners such as opticians.

They’ve been popularised by the likes of TV shows such as ‘Scrubs’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and hit the headlines in 2020 when there was a shortage due to the pandemic.

Now they’ve come to symbolise medical frontline superhero status; ‘Not all heroes wear capes, some wear scrubs’ can be found adorning pin badges and T-shirts.

It’s been a journey, but scrubs have definitely evolved!

Garment of choice

It’s easy to see why scrubs are the sanitary garment of choice.

While comfort is near the top of the list, they’re durable and can be washed at the high temperatures necessary for sterilisation.

To withstand these rigours, we only provide high quality, hard wearing medical grade scrub suits, offering lightweight and heavier weight versions in a wide range of colours and sizes.

But don’t just take our word for it, here’s what some of our delighted customers had to say about their scrubs purchases on Trustpilot!

“Excellent customer service great scrubs and fast delivery would definitely recommend.” – Wendy Sinclair.

“I purchased two scrub tops for work, and I’m so pleased with them. Good quality, good sizing and lovely colours.” – Mrs Street.

“Brilliant scrubs! I bought this as a Mother’s Day gift for my Mum who is a frontline nurse and she loves them! She says that they are super comfortable (even under full PPE) and they look really smart. All of her colleagues now want matching scrubs!” – Katie Gowan.

We’ve been providing uniforms and workwear to those within the NHS ever since we were established over 70 years ago and we’re a renowned and trusted supplier right across the healthcare sector.

Alongside our high-quality, affordable product assurances, we also pride ourselves on providing exceptional customer service from order right through to delivery.

Whether you prefer to order online or over the phone, our friendly customer service team are on hand to answer your questions and queries – or email us if you prefer.

Why not browse our range of scrubs and healthcare uniforms.

If you wish to add personalised embroidery simply add the option during the ordering process.

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