Garment Printing

Screenworks sees business pivot during Covid-19 lockdown

by FESPA | 02/09/2020
Screenworks sees business pivot during Covid-19 lockdown

Garment embroidery, screen, digital and direct to print service provider, Screenworks, has spoken to FESPA.com about how it was able to undertake a “huge business pivot” during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown, introducing a profitable and more environmentally friendly new product.

Screenworks’ core market is promotional merchandise, but the lockdown led to a significant drop in demand for this sort of printed work, with sporting, music and corporate event cancellations across the world.
 
As a result, Screenworks pared down operations and furloughed just under three quarters of its workforce to help mitigate the impact of lockdown.
 
Though some orders continued to come through, including a larger order for NHS printed t-shirts, demand was down and Screenworks opted to look elsewhere for new opportunities.
 
“We knew we had to think on our feet, and to come up with something that would support the future growth of the business and be in line with our goals, working practices and ethics,” Duncan Gilmour, managing director at Screenworks, told FESPA.com.
 
Following a period of comprehensive research and development, Screenworks in May launched Bumpaa, the UK’s first-to-market anti-viral facemasks and snoods.
 
The fabric masks are manufactured using a technical fabric. All Bumpaa’s face coverings are treated with a specialist anti-viral treatment – ViralOff – which effectively reduces viruses and bacteria on the product by up to 99% over two hours.
 
“With their long-lasting antiviral properties, the masks and snoods can be reused repeatedly, without the need for washing,” Gilmour said.
 
Gilmour added that Screenworks has seen significant levels of demand for the masks, due in part to current restrictions in place across the UK that require people to wear face coverings in a number of environments, including shops and on public transport.
 

“Since the Bumpaa face coverings first launched, we have seen weeks with sales of more than 100,000 units,” Gilmour said. “A large proportion of the original workforce are now back at work, supporting the market demand for face coverings, across office and factory floor.

 
“To support this demand, we have increased the in-house capabilities of printing and packing face coverings, in order to dispatch to customers even quicker. We have invested heavily in machinery to support this, for example a sublimation printer and a new Beck Serienpacker S1750XJ from Friedheim International.”
 
Such has been the success of the masks that Gilmour said the company has switched the way it sells products. Previously, Sceenworks focused on the trade market, but has seen a shift to include selling the Bumpaa products to end users either directly or via resellers.
 
“We have learnt through the pandemic that it is crucial to be diverse in both our product offering and the markets we are selling into and this will be a big part of the strategy as we move into 2021,” Gilmour said.
 
“For the remainder of the year, I see us focusing much more on the planning and development phases of sustainable bespoke products so we can offer our customers the very best when we are fully back up-to-speed.
 
“We are determined to create a strong, positive plan for the future and Covid-19 has shown myself and my team that we can adapt to anything. And we are delighted that many of the workforce have also returned.”
 
 

by FESPA Back to News

Interested in joining our community?

Enquire today about joining your local FESPA Association or FESPA Direct

Enquire Today

Recent news

Business opportunities for printers in personalised products
Personalisation

Business opportunities for printers in personalised products

Personalised and individualised products are popular and this is particularly true for both Millenials and Gen Z. Sonja Angerer shares the available opportunities for printers in this segment and what they can expect.

17-06-2024
Exploring textile printing trends in fashion and decoration
Textile printing

Exploring textile printing trends in fashion and decoration

James Gatica shares the latest trends in textile printing regarding both fashion and garment decoration. James discusses the importance of sustainability, the rise of digital textile printing, personalisation and driving innovation and creativity in textile printing.

17-06-2024
WrapFest 2024 sponsors put it in the fast lane
Vehicle wrapping

WrapFest 2024 sponsors put it in the fast lane

WrapFest, the premier show for the vehicle and surface detailing community, has announced that 11 of the world's leading wrapping specialists have joined as sponsors, with more on their way, positioning it for an exceptional second event this October.

14-06-2024
Transfer printing vs Foil cutting - what technique should you invest in?
Garment Printing

Transfer printing vs Foil cutting - what technique should you invest in?

There are many ways to decorate t-shirts and other apparel. Transfer printing and foil cutting are the most common techniques used. Sonja Angerer discusses which technology is best suited for which applications, which tools are needed and what printers should consider when investing.

14-06-2024