Bringing knitwear production in-house has paid off for the womenswear brand.
Derbyshire-based womenswear business David Nieper has marked the 100,000th garment made since it brought knitwear production back in-house in 2010. The family business, established in 1961, decided to embark on UK knitwear production and trained staff from scratch when the last of its British suppliers closed in the wake of the last recession.
Its knitwear division, which uses cashmere and merino wools, now accounts for 20% of its total production. It employs 12 of David Nieper’s 250-strong workforce, who create more than 70 styles in sizes 10-28.
“We have a team of skilled knitwear specialists with a very high level of technical ability taking huge pride in their work,” said Debbie Gibson, head knitwear supervisor, who explained the knitwear team boasts more than 150 years of combined experience. “Even one of our most simple styles has more than 500,000 stitches which we knit faithfully to replicate the creative designs from our fashion studio.”
Christopher Nieper, managing director of David Nieper, said: “It was a bold move to bring knitwear in house. However, in 2010, we seized the opportunity to produce high-quality British knitwear at a time when consumers were turning away from mass-produced, synthetic products and looking for more authentic knitwear in natural fibres.
“Britain’s heritage as a manufacturer of textiles and yarns cannot be underestimated. ‘Made in Britain’ is a unique, trusted brand proposition internationally, and, especially now with Brexit and a weak pound, we need to create local jobs and develop local British skills.”
- Read a full interview with Christopher Nieper here.