A KESTREL for the brave
Chris Jackson relates how the former Remploy has risen from the ashes Lightweight and breathable, the Kestrel conforms to NATO standards and is especially suited to high-heat burden environments.
Nature, they say, abhors a vacuum and the demise of Remploy from the CBRN suit market in 2014 left a yawning chasm after nearly 40 years at the forefront of this speciality arena. OPEC CBRNe, a specialty British provider of CBRNe apparel to the global defence market, is making some ambitious headway in terms of filling the gap
PEC CBRNe stepped firmly into the shoes of the former Remploy Frontline in 2015 when their parent company, OPEC Systems, partnered with Haven Protective Technology Solutions of Scotland to acquire the rights to produce the full range of former Remploy Frontline suits. Today, many of the former Remploy team, including a large cohort of senior management, technical and fabrication staff, have regathered under the OPEC/Haven banner, allowing their rich CBRN capability and proud history to be preserved.
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The team at Haven in Scotland, where more than 90% of the workforce has a permanent disability, serves as OPEC’s primary manufacturing capability. A significant portion of the profits from suit sales are poured back into Haven to support the work of this valuable organization. It is satisfying to know that this partnership between OPEC and Haven is helping to provide quality work for disabled people, including many of the former Remploy Frontline team, as well as making a significant contribution to the British CBRN market. This practical fusion of UK social enterprise with world-class CBRN garment construction is a powerful and compelling business model under the OPEC CBRNe brand. More than 98% of the raw materials used in the company’s suit manufacturing process, including some genuinely exciting CBRN protection fabrics never before seen in the market, are designed and manufactured in the UK, ensuring profits and intellectual property are retained firmly within Britain.