Founded in 1988, Creative Apparel is a leading manufacturer of branded workwear and promotional clothing, specialising in screen printing, embroidery and transfer methods.
In May 2015, Creative Apparel was one of six companies that won a grant from the Stockport Sustainable Business Challenge, a resource efficiency funding competition run by Stockport Council, Stockport Economic Alliance and the Business Growth Hub.
Creative Apparel received £10,000 towards the installation of an automated screen cleaning and de-coating machine. Other winners included Castrads, a nearby producer of cast iron radiators that received £9,000 to install energy efficient LED lighting.
Creative Apparel’s new fully-automated system replaces the need for manual cleaning with a pressure washer, therefore increasing water efficiency and freeing up more time for employees to focus on other tasks. While it would previously take an employee up to ten minutes to manually clean a single screen, the new machine can clean two in three minutes.
In total, the new equipment is projected to save £6,800 a year, paying back on the company’s investment in less than two years. It will also save 378 cubic metres of water, 660 litres of solvents and chemicals, and 4 tonnes of carbon a year.
Phil Millar, managing director at Creative Apparel (pictured), said: “The new machine is a great addition to our production facility and one that we would not have been able to invest in without funding from the Stockport Sustainable Business Challenge.
“By introducing an automated system we have cut manual labour needed for cleaning and de-coating by 95 per cent, reduced health and safety risks and improved our resource efficiency.”
Creative Apparel has been able to invest in several pieces of new manufacturing equipment over the last year, having also received a £56,000 grant from the Business Growth Hub’s Textiles Growth Programme to help purchase machinery that will boost productivity, cut down on processes and eliminate the need for acetates and chemicals.
“Thanks to the Business Growth Hub’s support we expect to create an additional 15 jobs and increase our turnover significantly over the next four years”, said Millar. “We are looking forward to receiving more support in future to help identify other ways we can improve our efficiency”.