By Scott Wright

A LUXURY Borders cashmere brand has set its sights on expansion after securing funding to invest in new equipment and move into new products.

Hawico manufactures cashmere garments for retail at its stores around the world. It plans to use funding of around £250,000 from HSBC, provided in the form of an equipment finance loan, to purchase state-of-the-art machines which are capable of creating whole knitted garments. The specialist Shima Seiki machines will allow the Hawick-based company to speed up production, reduce material waste and experiment with new patterns as it looks to expand product ranges.

Director Ewan Thomson said: “We pride ourselves on the fact that we are able to make cashmere garments that are wholly Scottish from start to finish. Having HSBC UK’s support to invest in the best possible technology will enable us to manufacture more quickly and with more creativity. By providing access to new technology, we’re also hoping to encourage younger generations to enter the textiles industry.”

Family-owned Hawico can trace its history back to 1874, when the Hawick Hosiery Company was established and opened its mill on the town’s Duke Street. Today, it continues to make its knitwear at the same location, where the outer structure of the building remains the same. It sells its cashmere in its13 stores, as well as online.

The stores are based in Scotland, England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the US and Japan.

Marcus Sangster, relationship director for equipment finance at HSBC UK, said: “The Scottish textiles industry has an international reputation for creating quality cashmere garments. These new machines demonstrate Hawico’s commitment to keeping the craft alive in the Borders, whilst modernising with innovative technology to pursue growth.”