Essential workers making masks in a factory that use to make cycling gear by Jacques Marais. Information from factory owner We manufacture high end technical cycling apparel which can be very complex and take quite some time to manufacture. We have a lot of high end Italian fabrics on hand however also large volumes of cheaper polyesters perfect for manufacturing masks. We have all of the machinery equipment and more importantly the expertise to manufacture comfortable and durable apparel in this case face masks (plain or sublimated custom). We gave all of our staff the week off during the first week of lockdown as we were unsure how the virus was spreading and how it was going to effect the country as a whole so we gave it some time before making a decision. A core team returned back to our facility the following week in order to develop the pattern and stream line the manufacturing process we have had more staff coming in daily (voluntary) as the demand for effective face masks increases. Like many businesses in South Africa we are on a knife edge in terms of cash flow so this pandemic ultimately would have shut our doors for good if we were unable to jump on the face mask production train. The business is very seasonal struggling through winter and experiencing high volumes of business in summer due to all of the cycling events taking place. With events being cancelled or postponed indefinitely were really not sure how it will affect our cycling kit business for the remainder of the year. Thankfully we can keep our doors open and keep paying salaries so that our staff may support their families. The bulk of our staff have been here for 10 years or more we have an incredibly high staff retention rate the staff compliment is a total of 22 from a wide range of backgrounds all South African born except for one. Most of our staff come from Bonteheuwal Nyanga Philippi Strand Sunningdale and Mannenburg etc
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