The clerical haberdasher J. Wippell & Co., has announced they will be closing their doors by year’s end. Founded in Exeter in 1789 the company maintains workshops in Exeter, London and in New Jersey and has supplied vestments and clergy clothing for over two hundred years.

The COVID shutdown cost the company hundreds of thousands of pounds when university graduations were canceled, stopping the sale of graduation robes and mortar boards. The chairman and director of Wippell & Co, Robin Richardson told the BBC: “It’s an incredibly sad day and I want to pay tribute to all my colleagues.

“We will be supporting everyone through this difficult period.

“The company is committed to providing fair redundancy packages and giving everyone many months’ notice ahead of closure.

“Most people, including incredibly skilled embroiderers, seamstresses and cutters, have worked here for decades, with many approaching retirement age.

“I want to personally acknowledge everyone’s dedication and craftsmanship.”