O’NEILL’S has announced it is to manufacture reusable medical gowns in a partnership with a prominent UK-based specialist manufacturer as part of major efforts to protect frontline healthcare staff during Covid-19.
The company transformed its production line from sportswear to healthcare earlier this year in response to the emergency demand for high-quality, durable scrubs by health authorities across the island.
Ireland’s largest sportswear manufacturer will be working on the new product in partnership with Anze Limited, formerly known as Buckley Lamb Limited. Established in Suttonin-Ashfield in 1972, the company produces reusable surgical gowns, drapes and wraps.
Reusable gowns, which are made using high density, fluid repellent microfiber polyester fabric, offer a more sustainable alternative to single-use gowns; they are designed to be wash resistant and steam sterilised.
Managing director at O’Neill’s, Kieran Kennedy said, “I am delighted to be announcing this new partnership with Anze Limited. Their track record in surgical wear combined with our state-of-the art production facilities and experienced team can play an important role in the healthcare sector’s response to Covid-19.
“O’Neill’s aim to be part of the solution to decrease reliance on the overseas supply chain for critical healthcare apparel. We want to protect our frontline healthcare heroes with a first class local solution available at our production facilities in the north west. Our capability to manufacture scrubs and gowns locally offers greater control, shorter turnarounds and has a less damaging impact on the environment.”
Invest Northern Ireland also welcomed the announcement. Rose Mary Stalker, chair of Invest NI, said, “Building PPE production capability and capacity in NI helps to sustain employment, equipping our healthcare sector with a timely and reliable source of high quality products and grow sales into wider markets. We are delighted to see companies such as O’Neill’s pivot their business to assist the healthcare sector during these unprecedented challenging times.”