Apparel Supply, a Waterford family business, which recently created 30 new jobs to bring the total of employees to 65 continues to go from strength to strength.
Within the space of a few short months, the company developed a new medical device face mask production facility in workLAB, IDA Industrial Estate, Waterford, producing reusable barrier masks and disposable medical face masks for the HSE, regional nursing homes, and voluntary, and community groups.
According to Corinna Dower, General Manager of Apparel Supply, it has been a baptism of fire as the company pivoted swiftly from initially manufacturing sportswear to fulfilling international face mask orders.
“In early 2020, the company, like so many others across the globe faced an unprecedented challenge. Our sportswear division, Azzurri was facing indefinite closure and the loss of local jobs. However, we realised that we had the resources, skillset and most importantly, the foresight to focus on manufacturing face masks.”
“With a worldwide shortage of critical medical products, we appeared on Enterprise Ireland’s radar, as they were seeking indigenous suppliers of critical medical products. We now supply the HSE, healthcare organisations and corporate clients with Guaranteed Irish, CE marked, medical face masks made to the highest International standard, something that we are very proud of.”
The expansion has been a real team effort and Apparel Supply is grateful of the support the company received from Enterprise Ireland, the HSE, Local Enterprise Office Waterford and local representatives.
Minister of State Mary Butler TD recently visited the production facility at the IDA Industrial Estate and said, “It’s great to visit Apparel Supply, the new surgical facemask plant, located at workLAB and to see this family owned business going from strength to strength, especially during an unprecedented pandemic.”
“John and Miriam Molloy have adapted and scaled up their Medical Apparel business under the watchful eye of General Manager Corinna Dower and I would like to wish the business continued success.”
The company plans to further expand its facemask production to include a wider range of face masks, including FFP2 masks. Also, in consideration of the huge environmental impact of single use disposable masks, the company in partnership with WIT Seam and Ulster University, is further researching and developing its reusable face mask range.
As a proud local company, Apparel Supply continues to distribute free facemasks to charities and voluntary groups.