Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) will cover the annual rent of production premises for Rubizhe Hosiery Manufacturer (RHM) in Lviv. The premises of 1,000 square meters fully meets the technical requirements for production of light industry products.
Now the company is waiting for knitting machines from Chinese manufacturers, purchased with a loan from Dodo Socks, RHM’s partner since 2017.
“Dodo Socks gave us money to purchase 20 machines that will allow us to start producing socks. There are already several Ukrainian companies ready to order branded socks from us with their own design,” says RHM Director Hennadii Misiurenko.
The raw material for production is already in a rented warehouse in Lviv. Three containers of high-quality cotton from India were ordered before the war and arrived in Ukraine a few months later. The first batch of new products is planned to be produced in September.
The factory will start the production process with thirty of its employees. Later the firm plans to hire new people who will be trained on the new equipment.
“There is very strong competition in the socks market. On the new equipment, we will manufacture socks to order for brand companies in Ukraine. The first batch of products will be for Dodo Socks. We appreciate their support and are ready for further cooperation,” says Misiurenko.
Comparing the experience of starting a business more than 20 years ago with the current situation, Misiurenko thinks that now is more difficult, because of having to leave his home and relocate due to the war.
“We started our business in the 2000s. We took the first steps, we bought equipment as we only had three knitting machines, but at least we were at home. Now we are far from home, and again there are no machines, but we have experience, and I hope that will help us to start again in new conditions,” says Misiurenko.
RHM expects a grant from ERA for the purchase of 11 Italian machines for their production. As delivery may take a few months, the factory plans to train new employees by that time.
In March 2022, Russian troops shelled RHM’s modern production facility in Rubizhne, and the warehouse of finished products was looted. Previously the company produced up to 2 million pairs of socks annually. In 2021 the firm started selling products to the Netherlands, Spain and the Czech Republic.