HAWICO, the luxury cashmere clothing company based in Hawick in the Scottish Borders, announced yesterday that it is to continue to invest in international retail expansion and brand development after securing a seven-figure funding package from HSBC UK.

The deal with one of the world’s largest banks is a sign of significant banking and business confidence in 27-year-old Hawico whose products are aimed at the luxury goods market worldwide.

Hawico says it will use the new funding to purchase retail units in locations as diverse as Paris and New York, as they become available.

The family-owned manufacturing and retail company currently sells its designs in namesake stores across the globe, and its products are stocked in luxury clothing boutiques in North America, Europe and Asia.

It has stores in Milan, London, Baden-Baden, Zurich, St Moritz and Geneva as well as Gleneagles, Edinburgh, Kelso and its home town of Hawick where it is one of the few remaining manufacturers of knitwear goods that was formerly a major industry in the Scottish Borders. The company has its sights firmly set on opening additional Hawico stores internationally. Hawico said yesterday it will use the funding from HSBC UK to snap up retail units in its target locations.

The company will also draw on the bank’s support to complete renovations at its original Hawick store and engage in new marketing initiatives.

Ewan Thomson, Director at Hawico, said: “Our future lies in the international expansion of the business and HSBC is eager to support that ambition.

“Our new relationship with HSBC means we are in the best position to act when the right spaces become available.”

Hawico was founded by business partners, Jim Thomson and David Sanderson, in 1991 when they purchased a manufacturing site in Hawick. The two families have stayed heavily involved in managing the operation and continue to invest in Hawico’s manufacturing abilities and retail development.

The deal with HSBC UK, which serves around 14.5 million customers in the UK and employs approximately 32,000 people, will give Hawico access to funds from one of the world’s largest banks, originally founded as the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank by Scot Sir Thomas Sutherland in the former crown colony in 1865. Nigel Kerr, relationship director at HSBC UK in Scotland, said: “Hawico already operates 14 stores in five countries and has seen consistent demand for its luxury goods, which is encouraging in a challenging sector.

“We’re pleased to lend support to a successful Scottish brand as it pursues growth in new markets.”