Coronavirus News

Schoolwear Association survey reveals social distancing causes concern


COVID-19 has revealed that more than 80% of businesses are already looking ahead to the impact social distancing will have. The survey showed a range of opinions on how the industry can operate when lockdown restrictions are lifted. With the majority of retailers, suppliers and wholesalers looking ahead to reopening under social distancing rules, responses on the impact this will have were extensive. Many responses focused on the difficulties of serving customers in the same numbers and at the same speed as prior to COVID-19.

With the majority (65%) of businesses closed and just 5% completely open, most respondents predicted a very large decrease in sales between April and June 2020 compared to the same period last year – 57% expected to see a drop of more than 20%.

Looking ahead to the summer and back to school period, although responses were mixed, many are optimistic that demand will still be there. Around 52% of those surveyed said they expected sales

Schoolwear Association survey of the schoolwear industry’s response to

to be the same or increase between July and September compared to the same period last year. Just 10% predicated a drop in sales of more than 20%. Expectations for next year were also cautiously optimistic. 65% of respondents said that they expected sales to be the same or increase compared to the previous year, with the majority (27%) predicting a small rise in sales of 10% or less.

It is encouraging to see businesses making the most of Government support to help them through these challenging times. The vast majority of respondents have furloughed staff (85% have furloughed at least three-quarters of their workforce), have or are planning to use Small Business Grants (80%), and have or are planning to use the business rates relief scheme (69%).

The support of schools is also important to getting through this crisis. 74% of those who responded said that they were in contact with their schools, and nearly a quarter are having frequent conversations through the lockdown period. Again, almost all respondents expected schools to be either quite (45%) or very (45%) supportive of their business.

Vastex launches Double Face Mask Pallet


astex International has introduced a new Face Mask Pallet with a Quick-Stretch design for rapid screen printing on a wide variety of face mask types and styles.

The pallet can be secured with two lock knobs to any Vastex press, or other presses having compatible rotor arms. Mark Vasilantone, president, said: “The need and use of face masks is universal and, in many cases mandatory, enabling screen printers to replace or exceed imprinted garment jobs lost due to lock-downs on concerts, sports, schools and other group events.

The Vastex Double Face Mask Pallet

“Since they are disposable and purchased daily in the millions, masks hold enormous volume potential for printers, not only as custom jobs but as highly creative stock designs that can be sold online for political, athletic, comical or other applications.”

Rubber strips of the Quick-Stretch frame stretch single- or multi-layer mask material over the diamond shaped, rubber covered pallets, flattening pleats and contours in the imprint area with no shifting or need for pallet adhesive. The never-warp pallet is constructed of high-strength steel and includes a convenient holder for the template frame during re-loading of masks.

A list of sources for face mask blanks is included as standard.

Oeko-Tex waives license fee for face masks


ith immediate effect, the Oeko-Tex Association has waived the license fee for Standard 100 certification of mouth and nose masks.

With the current demand and expert recommendations to wear mouth and nose coverings in public, Oeko-Tex wants to support continued safety of the population. General secretary, Georg Dieners, said: "We need to stay together in this extraordinary situation: now and for our future. The crisis challenges many manufacturers who are confronted with a logistically difficult task.” This industry support follows the process modifications for certificate renewals during the coronavirus pandemic. This adjustment offers an important service for producers of face masks while ensuring continued sustainability and public safety from harmful substances during the corona crisis.

In addition to this, Oeko-Tex has stated that renewal of existing certificates can be done without sample submission. However, paperwork must be submitted on time and samples within three months or the certificate will be invalidated.

Karlowsky donates care clothing to the German Red Cross


he fight against the coronavirus has led Karlowsky

Fashion to donate 7,000 pieces of scrubs scrubs worth €150,000 to the German Red Cross Regional Association of

Magdeburg-Jerichower Land.

Frank Ruth, managing director of the DRK regional association Magdeburg-Jerichower Land, said: “We are

Staff from the German Red Cross Regional Association of Magdeburg-Jerichower Land present during the handover of scrubs

very grateful to Karlowsky Fashion for their support. Our 420 nursing staff in the four social stations, two day care facilities, six senior housing and senior housing are currently working under difficult conditions and see the social commitment of Karlowsky Fashion as motivation and thanks at the same time to continue to be there for the people with the same passion as they have done so far. I am particularly pleased that the nursing staff can now do this in new work clothes.”

A total of eight pallets were needed to safely pack the 7,000 smocks in all sizes for transport. The first delivery was handed over to the nursing staff there on Monday, May 4. Thomas Karlowsky, managing director, and his son Niels Karlowsky, head of marketing, IT and business development, were present during the handover.

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