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Cumbria Chamber celebrates longest standing member: Enkev

Silloth-based company Enkev are a leading manufacturer of material made from natural fibres.
Cumbria Chamber celebrates longest standing member Enkev

Their products have been exported around the world and used everywhere from high-end Beverly Hills hotels to costumes worn on the set of Star Wars! Having joined the Chamber 21 years ago, Enkev is our longest standing member. We took a trip to their factory to find out more.

Enkev’s headquarters are in the Netherlands, with additional sites in Poland, Belgium and the UK. The company began producing naturally-sourced products in 1934 and took over their site in Silloth 30 years ago. Their factory is located on an ex RAF airfield just outside the town, which was used to maintain and repair training aircraft during WW2. Some say the ghost of a Polish airman still haunts Enkev’s stockrooms!

During Enkev’s time in Cumbria they have benefited greatly from their membership to Cumbria Chamber of Commerce. Chris Francis, UK Sales Manager at Enkev said:

“Cumbria Chamber of Commerce have been instrumental in the growth of both our domestic and international business, their support, and knowledge has helped make imports and exports easier, and with all of the changes in recent years their continued support has helped with the challenges Brexit and a global pandemic has caused. The success of our international business wouldn’t have been achieved without the team and their knowledge, and we can always rely on their help should it be required.”

Enkev make 250 different products including insulation, sound proofing and filtration systems all from natural fibres including coconut hair, bamboo, flax, cotton and the wool of animals such as the merino sheep, camel and alpaca. A large part of their operation involves producing mattress filling which they supply to a number of companies including three Royal Warranted Bed manufacturers who produce some of the finest beds and mattresses available.

Enkev’s mattress filling is made from a blend of coconut hair and latex which conforms to the shape of the body while retaining its elasticity. For the top layer of the mattress Enkev produce a layer made from extra-soft wool which provides superior air circulation and moisture wicking. If you were in any  doubt about the durability and comfort offered by natural fibres, mattresses made from Enkev’s products can be found everywhere from North Sea oilrigs and luxury yachts to Beverly Hills hotels and in celebrities homes around the world!

Enkev also produce sustainable packaging, padding for furniture and supply materials to the automotive industry, the oil and gas industry and even the Nuclear sector. The long list of UK manufacturers who use their materials include: Vi Spring, Savour, Hypnos, George Smith Upholstery, Tetrad, Modus, Sleepeezee, Reylon and Bensons for Beds. Material produced by Enkev was even used in insoles worn by Daisy Ridley who played Rey in Star Wars!

Most of the natural fibres used to make these materials are biproducts of the food and drink industry. Ensuring the sustainability of these raw materials is of paramount importance. For example, after concerns over the mistreatment of alpacas in South America, they switched to using alpaca wool exclusively from British farms. As well as being certified by the Vegan Society, they are the only British natural fibre company working to the Global Organic Textile Standard, which certifies that the fibres they use are of the highest quality and harvested in a sustainable and ethical manner

Chris Francis said: “The Enkev Group has immense pride and passion for our position as a supplier of high quality, high integrity, responsible filling solutions, and our partnerships with GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) and The Vegan Society helps us take our ethical and traceable supply chain to truly unique levels.

Our continued commitment to provide transparent, sustainable products that are good for not only for industry, but also the consumer, and the planet, by skilfully blending nature’s finest fibres using zero plastics, and minimising the use of chemicals.

PU Foams have become a standard product used within a wide range of industries; however, it has also become a staple of landfill sites worldwide contributing towards the 1.3 billion tons of rubbish we dump into our environment annually.

We can all make a difference to the world around us, and it starts with you talking that first step, these seemingly small changes combine, and grow, resulting in major global change towards a sustainable future for all.”

Eve Halliday, Head of Commercial and Business Growth at Cumbria Chamber of Commerce said:

“We’re proud to have so many long-standing members at the Chamber who have benefited from our services over the years. Enkev have gone from strength to strength and we’re delighted to have played our part in that success.

With the need for sustainable manufacturing more pertinent than ever, demand for Enkev’s products is set to grow in the coming years. We look forward to working with them during this exciting time”

You can find out more about Enkev by clicking here. For information on the benefits of becoming a member of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce.


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