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New cashmere knitwear firm to launch in Hawick

A new company has been established to manufacture in cashmere knitwear in Hawick, with former Hawick Knitwear brand director Arthur Rennie as its company director.

Lyber 2016 was incorporated on February 9 with Edinburgh-based AS Company Services listed as secretary, Hong Kong-based merchant Wai Cheung Chu as director and Rennie as company director, a month after Rennie’s former employer, Hawick Knitwear, entered administration.

The company held a recruitment drive at a cafe in Hawick last week, a source said.

It plans to initially employ between 30 and 40 people and is owned by Hong Kong-based Eric Chu, whose family owns Chinese cashmere supplier Artwell, stated a document distributed at the event and seen by Drapers.

“The planned strategy is for Lyber 2016 Ltd to take advantage of the top-quality yarn produced by Artwell, add the production expertise from Hawick, and be able to offer a premium Made in Scotland cashmere product to private-label clients,” the document said.

Hawick Knitwear appointed KPMG as administrators in January, citing difficult trading conditions in recent years as a result of increasing production costs and reducing margins. Mild winters have also taken their toll on the firm.

The company owed £1.33m to unsecured trade creditors.

Drapers has contacted KPMG for comment.

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