JH Kilt Hire owner Jim Healy wanted to raise funds for Strathcarron Hospice as a way of giving back to and thanking the facility after its nurses looked after his father.
His idea to create a range of tartan face coverings and donate £2 from every sale to the Fankerton service is already paying off, with more than £500 raised so far.
Wearing a face covering or mask in shops and on public transport will become compulsory in Scotland on Friday, meaning there’s likely to be an increase in demand for JH Kilt Hire’s products.
As well as generating cash for the hospice, Jim is also eager to raise awareness of the crucial work the charity does to look after those with incurable illnesses.
Strathcarron relies on public funding to cover its £13,000 daily running costs.
Supporting the service during economically uncertain times was also a huge motivation for Jim.
The businessman said: “My dad was helped by Strathcarron nurses a few years back when he had cancer.
“I have a close friend whose mum recently passed and was helped there and I’ve known others who have been helped there in the past.
“I know the work they do and my friend works there as well. They struggle as it is, especially now with this pandemic, and any awareness we can raise helps.
“It costs £24 for a nurse to look after a patient and up to £400 for an inpatient.
“We decided to call them face coverings as theoretically they're not proper medical face masks. I just like to make sure there is no confusion with them.
“We’ve got nine kinds of tartan available just now but we’re adding one more and are waiting on some other fabric coming in.
“We started making them up and selling them during lockdown. It kicked off just two or three weeks ago and they’ve been really popular since we opened last Monday.
“The coverings aren’t expensive but every little helps and £2 will go towards the hospice. It’s all about supporting Strathcarron and raising awareness of it.”
No industry has been unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic and, when you rely on functions and celebrations like weddings for income, an enforced three-month closure would naturally present challenges.
JH Kilt Hire has been no different, however, staff are pleased they’ve been able to be able to reopen.
Jim added: “There are some bookings from about the end of July onwards but most have been rescheduled until next year.
“June is always our busiest month. We would estimate selling 500 to 600 outfits, whereas between now and December the busiest month is September and it’s just short of 100.”
The face coverings can be bought on the business’ Facebook shop: www.facebook.com/jhkilthire.