Formula 1 champions may soon be sporting safety clothing manufactured by Ballymena company Teal Safety Ltd.

The Invest Northern Ireland backed company, set up just a year ago, has raced ahead of its competitors after securing the exclusive European rights for CarbonxTM fireproof material, which has led to it being approved as a manufacturer of Formula 1 clothing.

CarbonxTM is six times more effective than the current fireproof fabric used in Formula 1 clothing.

Stephen McCully, a director of the company, says: “We’re really excited about the prospects that have opened up for us. We’ve appointed an ex Formula 1 driver as an agent and have already been approached by a couple of leading racing teams that want us to look at designing clothing for them.”

As well as fireproof clothing, Teal Safety manufactures survival clothing and a unique range of equipment that has been designed by the company’s four directors. The clothing, including anti-slash garments, is tailored to the precise requirements of each customer and orders range from one-off garments for individuals, to short-run orders for public order forces and news organisations.

Survival equipment designed by Teal Safety includes a lightweight, collapsible spinal stretcher that is ideal for mountain rescues and a patented survival shelter system for emergency protection and rescue. The company also provides training in Personnel Protection measures, Situation Awareness, PTSD and Trauma Management.

Every product designed by the company is original and protected by design copyright.

Over 95% of the company’s output is exported, with customers as far apart as the Middle East and USA.

Trevor Robinson, client executive in Invest NI’s north eastern local office has worked closely with Teal Safety to help it get established and develop its marketing strategy. He comments: “The company has put a lot of time and effort into research and development and is now able to offer a range of products and services that exhibit a high level of innovation and market led thinking.

“The promoters have an extensive knowledge of how raw materials perform and how products can be designed to provide maximum benefit to the user, and this is key to their bespoke design service.

“Invest NI supported the company through our Growth Start Programme and we’re continuing to work with it to help it achieve its considerable potential.”

Co-director of the company, Christine Berry, adds: “Invest NI’s help has been excellent, they’ve helped us source information and advice as well as providing some financial assistance to help us get up and running, and their ongoing support is invaluable.”