Stephen Walters Press Release
Monday 30th March
LOCAL FIRM MAKES OFFER OF MANUFACTURING SUPPORT TO GOVERNMENT CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.
Local manufacturing firm Stephen Walters of Sudbury Silk Mills is in talks with the Government to re-purpose their manufacturing to help with the crisis.
The Sudbury firm, which usually produces silk for international fashion designers, is hoping to turn its technological capabilities into producing products to donate towards the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Most of the fabrics we manufacture at the mill are for the luxury fashion market but we also supply technical, high-performance fabrics for other industries, so we are hoping that some of that capability can be used to manufacture much needed materials,” said managing director Julius Walters.
While the company decided to suspend weaving at its mill on Friday, many employees are still working from home and have turned their attention to ways in which the company can help during this time, he said.
“While all our staff were working to the very highest possible safety and distancing measures and we could have kept the mill operating within the Government guidelines, we felt that closing it for a short period of time was the right thing to do as the safety of our employees safety is of utmost importance to us, so many of them are now working from home.
“We have made an application to the Government outlining the fabrics that we have immediately available in stock, along with the other sorts of fabrics that we could quickly develop and weave if required,” said Mr Walters.
The company is also in talks with local organisations and the British Fashion Council, which is working alongside the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to provide aid in the face of the pandemic.
Meanwhile many of Stephen Walters’ international customers have started making surgical face masks so they are hoping to support them in this way too.
Said Mr Walters: “As all of these talks develop we will be looking to see if we can keep some core processes at the mill operating. We have the technological capability and the production capacity and we are ready to help in any way possible.”