BBC Business: UK Manufacturers and PPE Orders
August 6, 2020 - August 6, 2020
Published on the 29th March 2020, Fashion-Enter Ltd was one of the manufacturers interviewed by BBC Business reporter Simon Browning, on the topic of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) orders currently in production in the UK.
In his article titled: ‘Coronavirus: UK ‘wasting time’ on NHS protective gear orders’ the piece discusses the benefits of utilizing UK based manufacturers and workers but questions why the orders for frontline NHS staff weren’t placed at least 10 days ago.
From the article:
“The government is dragging its heels and it is really, really frustrating,” said Kate Hills from Make it British, a trade group.
Ms Hills believes the government does not have the expertise it needs to source the products from UK firms because it is so used to importing goods from overseas.
“Everyone in the whole world is looking for the PPE [personal protective equipment],” she says. “We need to look at local suppliers and mobilise supply here.”
Two weeks ago, the Cabinet Office distributed a survey to manufacturers asking what protective equipment they would be able to make.
Factories responded, yet the government has so far failed to get in touch or order anything from them, they say.
Meanwhile, staff in hospitals have complained they lack basic protective gear such as face masks or medical scrubs, with some even buying their own.
Tamara Cincik – a consultant, and adviser to a Parliamentary group for the textile and fashion industry – said the government needed to act more quickly.
“Waiting for supplies from China, Turkey, Egypt is a waste of time, prices will escalate and ultimately run out,” she said.
Jenny Holloway CEO of Fashion-Enter Ltd, garment manufacturer in North London mentioned that like many factories, it has seen orders from normal retail clients collapse.
They are currently working on a small order of masks for a private client. But Ms Holloway said she had applied to the Cabinet Office because her firm would love to work for the NHS.
“We have lots of single ladies and disabled staff. We can furlough them but they want to work and be part of this effort.”