Tibard, a cookwear and hospitality uniform specialist, is currently producing thousands of hospital scrubs for the NHS to treat patients with the novel coronavirus.
Chef's jackets, pants, hats and aprons are typically made at the Dukinfield, Tameside factory. However, with the closure of bars and restaurants due to Covid-19, everything changed when Tibard's customers closed and stopped spending on uniforms.
The move left Tibard's purpose-built textile factory out of work, but Tibard's managing director, Ian Mitchell, decided to offer his services to the NHS. Through a local fabric partner, Tibard contacted the NHS supply chain and offered to deliver excess orders immediately. In the first week of production, the company was able to produce 5,000 peels and the same number of pants. Fortunately, the production line did not have to be changed significantly, as the only major difference is that it produces fabric scrubs that are lighter than Tibard's usual textiles and that the garments do not require a front closure.
Now, in the fourth week since social distancing began, Tibard has 60,000 orders for scrubs, said John Shonfeld, chairman of the Tibard group: “We do 400-450 sets a day at Tibard. We also purchased 20,000 sets from other companies in the UK and produce around 3,000 sets per week in South Africa and Latvia. The first batch from South Africa is due tomorrow.
“The peels are forwarded to a dealer who supplies the NHS nationally. We have also delivered them to local and national hospitals ourselves. We will soon have surplus "free" stock, ie not already tied to customers, so that from the beginning of May we can supply anyone who needs it from stock. "
Shonfeld added that the company also makes shrouds and supplies towels to Salford Hospital to shower the NHS staff.
Mitchell concluded: "It was important to all of us here at Tibard to do our part to support our medical staff, so we had to offer our services. Companies across the country should analyze how they work within society. Our NHS is at the forefront of the Fight against this terrible virus and it is up to the companies to do their utmost in every possible way. ”