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Foxcil, a Sydney label manufacturer, has taken up the call by the Australian government to manufacture PPE, specifically face shields.

Branded as FacespacePPE, the innovative design is a low-cost solution, allowing large volume production to meet expected demand throughout the community. They have already won praise from local MP and environmental campaigner Zali Steggall.

They will be available direct to the public and as a trade service for other printers to sell. Each sale will see 10c directed to a domestic-violence shelter.

Roger Kirwan, managing director of Foxcil explains, “We wanted to meet the expected demand for face shields, so reviewed what equipment we had at our disposal, along with the supply chains we already have in place. This has resulted in an all-PVC design with many advantages.

“The design is lightweight and comfortable to wear, removing the need for foam inserts. The shield can be lifted up and down by the user when required.

“The all-PVC design also has no fabric or elastic, meaning  easy disinfecting through the use of a disinfecting wipes, making them multi-use as opposed to disposable, cutting down on unnecessary waste to landfill.

Kirwan continued, “Face shields are a great asset in the fight of Covid-19. The product shields the user from any splash and airborne virus from coughs and sneezes, so when used in conjunction with a face mask (over mouth and nose) provides excellent protection to users. Face shields also limit the user from touching their face, a known risk factor with the spread of Covid-19.

“Each shield is individually packed and sealed in a plastic LDPE bag with a security seal featuring a Laava Smart Fingerprint, allowing for individual identification of each mask, anti-counterfeiting protection, assurance of being Australian Made (a concern given the proliferation of copycat PPE now entering the market) and interactive information for the end user, including safe usage instructions, emergency contacts and other useful resources.

“Price and volume were key to us. We needed a low cost solution that we can make in big volumes. Some solutions out there involving technologies such as 3D printing simply cannot provide the volume required. We are able to produce up to 60,000 a week."

In order to service any large volume requirements Foxcil has partnered with Sydney Print Media. David Walsh, national sales manager of Sydney Print Media explained that when approached by Kirwan some weeks ago about the concept and the possible need to ramp up volumes, they immediately looked at all options to support the project. “Through our partnership with Foxcil, volumes of 60,000 a week is now achievable, and we could probably help push more out if needed” said Walsh.

Foxcil is also continuing with its ethos of giving back to the community. Foxcil is giving 10c for every branded mask sold to Women's Community Shelters. Kirwan said. “We felt this was an important part of our offering. With this pandemic, domestic violence is expected to increase significantly. Domestic Violence is the biggest cause of preventable death for women aged 15-44, so we wanted to do something meaningful in this space.”

“Highlighting that our product was Australian made was also very important to us, and to this end we received excellent support and interest from the Australian Made Campaign," Kirwan said.

“We also wanted to show case new technology – specifically Laava Fingerprints. Laava Fingerprints are an the next generation development over traditional QR codes, developed in Australia in collaboration with Australia's CSIRO. When scanned, each individual product can identify itself and provide tailored user experiences, as well assuring the user that it is the real thing.

Gavin Ger, joint CEO at Laava said of the project: “We have established a strong partnership with Foxcil to produce outstanding quality labels featuring our Smart Fingerprint technology. We jumped at the chance to be part of this fantastic project with Foxcil as a way of applying Australian-developed world leading technology to help Australians fight Covid-19, and hopefully get the economy moving again as soon as possible.”

Zali Steggall, Federal Member for Warringah said “This is an exciting example of a local business adapting during these uncertain times to do what they can to keep our community safe. The team at Foxcil identified a genuine need for these face masks and they changed their processes to deliver a product that can be used widely within the community. Not only will this initiative meet a need for face mask protection, it will keep 12 local people in employment. I especially thank Foxcil for the generous contribution they are making in support of domestic violence services with a percentage of sales going to Women’s Community Shelters. For some vulnerable families, this time of isolation is dangerous and we need to provide them with every assistance and support. This initiative from Foxcil is simply a win-win local project”

Kirwan said: “As a trade printer, selling direct is not usually our thing, but giving the public a face shield option as soon as possible was important to us to help stop the spread of Covid-19. We also felt it was important to give our trade customers and partners the option to buying the product unbranded, or own-branded, was important to us as well. This extends to the user scanning experience which can all be branded by our trade partners and their clients. We invite all our trade buyers to engage with us to collaboratively design a solution for their clients."

Sales via the website facespaceppe.com.au to the general public have begun.

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