Stories

Sunspel’s work in response to COVID-19

How we are supporting our local community and NHS keyworkers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Face masks have been remade from fabric offcuts

In the midst of the national coronavirus lockdown the Sunspel factory at Long Eaton remains open – although it is far from ‘business as usual’. Our response to the COVID-19 outbreak has meant significant changes to the way we work, introducing strict social distancing and hygiene measures to ensure the safety of our team members.

But it has also changed what we’re making. In addition to the usual production of luxury T-Shirts, our craftspeople are turning their skills to the manufacture of protective items for local NHS nurses and community workers, to support them in the fight against COVID-19.

Manufacturing face masks and laundry bags, ready to be delivered to local keyworkers

Sunspel has deep roots in the Nottinghamshire community, so we were keen to support local initiatives and respond to requests for help close to home. In the factory, our team have been remaking fabric offcuts into washable drawstring laundry bags for frontline NHS workers at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. These allow nursing staff to bag up their uniforms at the end of their shifts and put them directly into washing machineswithout having to risk handling conta minated clothing in their own homes. So far we have donated 1,000 bags and we’re on standby to make more as needed.

We’ve also applied skills to the manufacture of protective face masks, for our own staff and for keyworkers and carers. To date we’ve donated 500 masks to suppliers and volunteers making deliveries to vulnerable customers in Yorkshire. We will also be supplying an additional 7,500 masks to be used by delivery drivers and food workers.

Community food company The Local Pantry sporting Sunspel face masks

Drawstring laundry bags delivered to NHS staff

The coronavirus pandemic has had a severe impact on all our lives, but in its 160 year history Sunspel has continued to operate and adapt through many a crisis – from surviving the Great Depression to producing utility garments during both World Wars. Better days will return, and we are determined to keep our Long Eaton factory open and to play our small part in meeting the challenges we all face in these unprecedented times.