Working Through Coronavirus & Adjusting To The New 'Normal'
Our multi-tasking skills have certainly been tested throughout the coronavirus lockdown. From making pre-orders and having fit days via Zoom, to ensuring our AW20 collection is ready on time and packing orders, our small but mighty team has been doing it all!
Our factory in North London closed temporarily at the end of March without any prior warning. Our production manager Katie had to drive over and beg someone to let her in, so she could collect our essential patterns and fabric. We had a number of pre-orders from before lockdown that had been cut but not sewn together. Katie managed to collect these and distribute to our in-house machinists now working from home.
We have been working hard to ensure our AW20 collection is ready on time, which proved challenging as a lot of fabric mills in Europe remain closed due to lockdown. The uncertainty means that we have had to select only the very best of our AW20 range plan to put into production.
Zoom Fit Days
Certain adjustments were hard to communicate to our pattern cutter Suzanne via Zoom, so we had to draw on pictures and text them to her instead. It is at times like this that we are incredibly grateful to have such a hardworking and adaptable team.
Our specialist family run pleating company in North London, who do all of our pleating, have remained open throughout the pandemic. This has allowed us to experiment with different pleat styles for us to use in AW20.
Our factory re-opened at the beginning of May, which meant we have been able to restock bestsellers like our Exeter dress. Our production manager went to our factory wearing mask and gloves to quality check them as the factory has significantly reduced staff numbers.
Making PPE For The NHS
We are still volunteering to make PPE for the NHS. So far, volunteers at Kensington and Chelsea College have made just over 13,000 gowns for the Royal Brompton hospital. We have been wearing LIBBY throughout, proving just how versatile our designs are!
Also in The Memo Blog
It seems to become harder and harder to find new roles and for employers to decide on the right candidate with each passing year due to the sheer volume of applicants. In response to this, many employers are building an extra step into the recruitment process: personality testing.
Recently, members of the Libby team have been putting their sewing skills to good use by volunteering to make personal protective equipment (PPE) for the NHS.
In particular, fluid repellent gowns for our local Royal Brompton Hospital, upcycled from old theatre drapes. The volunteering scheme is led by The Fashion School's Caroline Gration and staff at the Royal Brompton hospital and is situated at Kensington and Chelsea College (KCC).