Fashion – Enter CEO Talks Essential NHS PPE Production
As from the 1st April 2020 Fashion-Enter’s Factory based in Haringey, North London, switched from its regular fashion apparel orders to making PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for the NHS. Here Fashion-Enter’s CEO Jenny Holloway talks about this transition, the current restrictions and life beyond lockdown…
Q: How long can you see your manufacturing unit continuing this for?
Jenny: At the moment it’s ‘business as usual’and more! Having the opportunity to manufacture PPE for our glorious key workers with the NHS and direct line staff in hospitals means that all of us want to support as much as we can. We are making up to 10,000 scrub sets a week and we hope this continues after the worst of the pandemic is over. We need to build up a ‘made in UK’ brand for the NHS so we are never in this position again. PPE is a necessity and a right for each person working in hospitals.
Q: How long do you foresee the restrictions in the UK and internationally lasting?
Jenny: We think this will be continuing until the end of May and then we expect a dip and then a second wave of the virus. I know that sounds somewhat negative but we would rather be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. Our staff’s safety comes first and those that do not want to come to work don’t. It’s as simple as that. Everyone is different and we respect the diversity of all of our staff.
Q: Have you ceased all sales?
Jenny: We have put our in-house brand ‘Belles of London’ website on holiday mode with Silk Fred so we can concentrate on making the scrubs as we see these as total priority. ASOS have also encouraged us to stop their production in favour of the NHS. Our FCFabricStudio website (fabrics and haberdashery) is however still open and sales are high due to the demand of people really wanting to learn how to make their own clothes, be ethical and sustainable and just simply learn new skills at home! Our fabrics are super cheap too as they are leftover stock so we like them to go to a good home.
Q: Do you believe there will be pent up demand once things go back to ‘normal’?
Jenny: Yes, I suspect there will be. People are currently stuck in their homes and although the effect on the economy has been huge, I believe there will be a big bounce back – especially if the sun keeps shining as it has done over Easter. People will be looking forward to going out again with friends, family and partners, exercising and enjoying the great outdoors. Restaurants will begin to fill, and people will begin to travel and get their plans back on the calendar. I have already seen on social media #mycomingoutdress so there is an air of anticipation – I am sure there will be lots of parties! However, at the moment we have to all stay safe and stay well for as long as it takes.