Welsh-based, Fashion-Enter Ltd’s has decided to open a new production facility in Powys with Welsh Government support, said Economy Minister Ken Skates.
Fashion-Enter Ltd, a social enterprise focusing on training and manufacturing excellence, got necessary investment from the Welsh Government after fortifying a key contract with online fashion retailer ASOS.
The Welsh Government is funding from its Economy Futures Fund, with FEL using the investment establishing its new factory in Newtown.
Following this vital support from the ReAct wage subsidy program, the 77 skilled previous employees of Laura Ashley will primarily aid to manufacture 10,000 garments a week for the ASOS contract from FEL’s new base. This will surge to 20,000 a week within a month.
Jenny Holloway, CEO, FEL said, “Many of the apparel workers we have hired had faithfully worked at Laura Ashley for more than 35 years. I couldn’t rest knowing they were going to lose their jobs. You also don’t find experienced workers of that number anywhere anymore.”
FEL will be based in the Royal Welsh Warehouse, known locally as the Pryce Jones Building. FEL will also make PPE for a luxury clothing brand, Private White VC.
Holloway told, “We are delighted with the support and guidance we have received from the Welsh Government which has resulted in Fashion-Enter being able to employ staff and we still want to recruit a further 30 stitchers. Our order book is currently full, and the sky is the limit.”
Already Fashion-Enter Ltd is operating in line with the many aspects of the Welsh Government’s Economic Contract which is intended to encourage fair work and help companies to future proof.
It employs trained psychologists to support staff and has significantly increased staff earnings by introducing a performance-related pay system.
It also plans to increase local employment and invest in local skills levels by establishing a textile academy in Newtown over the comping months, and is committed to promoting good sustainability practice, and reducing its environmental impacts along with that of its partners and clients. It has also signed up to the Code of Practice on ethical employment in supply chains.
Minister Ken Skates said, “Powys, and the Newtown area, in particular, has a rich manufacturing history, with highly skilled and experienced individuals. I am delighted Fashion-Enter Ltd has seized the opportunity to put their valuable expertise to work with this important investment in Mid Wales, which will continue that rich tradition for years to come.”