Willis started the charity almost ten years ago, after listening to a radio programme about the difficulties wounded servicemen have in entering back into civilian life. In response to this, she decided to employ her shirt-making skills to bolster the self-esteem of injured soldiers.
Huntsman’s chairman, Pierre Lagrange, says that working with the charity was a natural move. “As you’ll hear from the team at Huntsman, styling those soldiers in bespoke garments has been an extraordinary, uplifting experience for all, and I am grateful to Emma for her leadership that inspired us”. Huntsman’s general manager Carol Pierce and cutter Anette Akselberg worked together with the retired soldiers, to create a suit expertly fitted to their different body shapes,
Among the ex-servicemen are 25-year-old Shaun Stocker, who lost both his legs and was partially blinded when he stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan. Stocker, who now works as a motivational speaker, asked Huntsman to make the suit for his wedding. Akselberg has cut the suit in grey herringbone wool, with a coat and waistcoat, in Huntsman’s classic, single button style.
Garth Banks, a soldier who was also injured in Afghanistan in 2010, and who now has two prosthetic legs, commissioned a suit with short trousers in what Akselberg describes as “a bright, French blue.”