Vanhulley provides jobs to help people integrate into the Dutch job market
In the city of Groningen, Vanhulley is turning out about 500 masks per day, reports the GIC. The company, founded as a social enterprise, used to split its team of tailors time between making boxer shorts and masks, but will now be focusing only on facemasks.
Having only begun making the masks at the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, Vanhulley can barely cope with the demand for textile face masks: on average, about 500 pieces are made per day in the sewing workshop, but that seems barely enough now that wearing a mouth mask is urgently advised. “We will be doing almost nothing else in the near future,” says owner Jolijn Creutzberg.
Vanhulley is more generally specialised in the reuse of old textiles. It started by making boxer shorts from old and worn shirts, but now also corporate clothing is getting a second life.
The boxers and masks are turned out in a sewing workshop on Peizerweg, by women ‘at a distance from the labour market’, and volunteers.
Since the Coronavirus outbreak, masks have also been made from leftovers pieces of cotton, which would otherwise end up in the waste. In recent weeks it was an average of 500 pieces per day, but during the lockdown there were days when 800 pieces were sewn.
“We were helped enormously by a large group of volunteers”, says Creutzberg. “Pensioners, students, self-employed people; men, women, young people: there were a lot of people who spontaneously registered to participate, and who enjoyed rolling up their sleeves alongside their studies or work with us. That was heartwarming. ”
A new group of nineteen women has just started on a new programme aimed at helping them find jobs in the future. They are generally people with less formal education: “these women are guided by us for a year, with a programme in which they improve their Dutch, receive training and of course gain work experience,” says Creutzberg.