A CARDIGAN manufacturing business has provided hundreds of sets of scrubs to the NHS and local healthcare providers battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Hiut Denim Co, based at Bathhouse Road, is usually more associated with producing in-demand high fashion jeans, which hit the headlines back in 2018 when they were worn by Meghan Markle when she visited Wales with Prince Harry.

But now the company has switched production from jeans to cotton scrubs both at its Cardigan factory and in surrounding homes with the help of an army of volunteers.

And to help with the costs of buying materials, fellow award-winning Cardigan business Crwst has chipped in with a donation of £2,100 from selling its online ‘Stay at home, bake at home’ kits.

Clare Hieatt, who runs Hiut Denim with husband David, said: “We have been making the scrubs for the past six weeks, though we are now shutting down for two weeks and will be reopening the business on June 1 to make jeans again.

“We got the idea even before lockdown as the Welsh Government put out a call for manufacturers across Wales to help.

“We registered but did not hear anything back so started our own project. We have the skills and got involved with the Emergency Designer Network in London, who were making scrubs for the Royal Free Hospital.

“We got some fabric from them and talked to the staff and they were only happy to volunteer.”

But as well as the company’s own production staff, a small army of community volunteers also signed up to help.

“Altogether we have had about 30 sewers,” said Clare.

“Some would come to the factory to pick up stuff or we would drop it off to them and it has been a fantastic community project. We have made 1,100 garments and about 600 sets in total.”

Half the batch went to the Royal Free Hospital in London but the rest have been distributed locally to the likes of Cardigan Care Centre, Newcastle Emlyn Surgery and local hospitals, with the money raised by Crwst used to buy more materials

The last batch is due for delivery to Morriston Hospital.

“It just feels that we have had a chance to contribute in fighting this disease and the staff and volunteers have all been proud to get involved,” added Clare.

Crwst’s Osian Jones said: “With our café closed we have looked to go online and the response has been brilliant.

“We have had amazing support from people and were a bit overwhelmed at first.

“We have sold around 400 bake at home kits with Crwst’s own cookie mix recipe, my gran’s Welsh cake recipe and bara brith. For every box we have sold, we have donated £5.

“We have had to think of ways to keep the business running during the lockdown and the success we have had online has made us think about launching other products until things get back to something like normal.”