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A local Buckinghamshire bridal company has begun producing hand-sewn fabric face masks to raise funds for the World Health Organisation.
The Secret Fitting Room's team of expert bridal seamstresses usually helps hundreds of brides every year with wedding dress alterations across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and London. But with weddings and other special events being postponed indefinitely across the country, The Secret Fitting Room is one of the thousands of small UK businesses which has temporarily closed as part of the national lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19. As a result, The Secret Fitting Room has launched a temporary online shop producing hand-sewn fabric face masks and donating 20% of the proceeds to the World Health Organisation.
Professionally trained seamstress and dressmaker Jennifer French set up The Secret Fitting Room in 2016 after graduating from the London College of Fashion and Nottingham Trent University.
"I've never been good at sitting around doing nothing and along with everyone else I am finding living under lockdown a struggle sometimes," said Jennifer. "We have helped many brides reorganise or postpone their weddings: it is such a hard time for everyone. I find my job to be just as much about emotionally supporting other women through some very vulnerable moments, as it is about dressmaking.It was my Granny who originally taught me how to sew as a child and, as it runs in the family, we have all started making our own masks.
"Although the scientific evidence and advice around hand-sewn fabric face masks is uncertain and unclear, the experts are agreed that wearing a face mask is not a substitute for social distancing and regular hand washing. It is more likely that wearing a hand-sewn face mask - worn and removed correctly - acts as a courtesy, helping the wearer from inadvertently spreading COVID-19 infection, rather than preventing the wearer from becoming infected themselves.
"Wearing a face mask is a personal choice, and is no guarantee of stopping the spread of COVID-19 infection" added Jennifer. "But it may be better than nothing if they are worn, removed correctly and we still all follow all of the government guidelines. Since launching the online shop, we have already sold out in some product lines and received dozens of requests for face masks for children. We are now producing them in fun fabrics such as dinosaurs, pirate ships and animals. We are also contacting nursing homes to offer them masks for staff for free or a donation if possible to cover postage and material."
You can visit The Secret Fitting Room's online shop to purchase face masks at https://thesecretfittingroom.co.uk
*20% of the proceeds from the sale of hand-sewn face masks will be donated to the World Health Organisation.
About The Secret Fitting Room
The Secret Fitting Room is a modern and friendly dressmaking company providing professional wedding dress alterations and bespoke dressmaking experiences. The team of expert bridal seamstresses provide professional wedding dress alterations for brides across Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and London. They customise, restyle and repair new, second-hand and vintage wedding dresses and create bespoke accessories. The company is passionate about style and sustainability and creates investment clothing for their clients which is individually designed and made to fit and flatter. It offers bespoke dressmaking experiences at its private two storey atelier and fitting boutique in High Wycombe, particularly suited for mothers of the bride and groom. Since setting up from a small workshop in 2016, the company is now a team of four expert dressmakers and have helped achieve the perfect wedding dress for over 1,000 brides.
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